Wednesday, November 07, 2018

Bohemian Rhapsody - Review & Personal Notes

Movie Review: It is terribly unfair with all the hype surrounding the movie prior to its release. Expectations were high. If you don't know Queen or just a so-so fan, this movie would still rate 9/10. If you are a true blue Queen fan, its way off the charts fantastic.

One thing is clear, Rami Malek will be a shoo-in to win next March Best Actor Oscar. He was so good. You can have voice training and even movement coaches, but you still need to have the ability to assimilate and interpret. After 10 minutes you feel you were watching Mercury.

To be fair, there were some minor tweaks to the real truth (such as how Mercury became the band's singer, etc.), and the focus on the Live Aid concert as the "grand finale". But movie producers need an entertaining movie.

Its a riveting portrayal by Rami Malek, and he did not overdo it. If you were a Queen fan, you'd be amazed at the similarities in expressions and mannerisms. 

The movie uses Bohemian Rhapsody as the anchor as to how it came about and how it conquered the world - but till today most people still have a vague understanding of the lyrics. 

There were incredible moments: when the fans sang back Love of My Life to the band; when Freddie composed the first few lines of the song; when Freddie wrote the first few lines of BH and cried; the sheer amount of love and respect Freddie showed to Mary; etc...

There were no dull moments in the movie, and the selection of songs to be played was well thought out and appropriate. The best thing about the movie was how much more we could see things from Mercury's perspective, in trying to understand his inner demons and unabashed brilliance.

There will be plenty of mediocre reviews by critics because it was not savage enough, or too entertaining, or glossing over facts ... That's all good, this was not meant to be a real biopic but rather a tribute to Mercury and Queen, where we can get to know both much better.

And just like Queen, ... having fun is paramount, which was what the movie did.


Why Queen Is My Favourite Musical Artiste

I started to listen to Queen thanks to a friend who so kindly recorded the 3rd album Sheer Heart Attack on a wonderful cartridge for me. It was so good, I looked for their earlier albums, Queen 1 and Queen 2. Then came NATO (our fanboys favorite way to refer to A Night At The Opera).

They were not the conventional rock band. They love to evolve and do different things. They were not shy of composing melodies and catchy hooks for rock songs. Plus they have a keen eye for harmonies, for a rock band, that was prissy. They also had no problem embracing technology and did not put rock and roll into a box but rather their music had none of the usual boundaries.

Musicality, Brian May was superb as their lead guitarist and a great composer. May and Roger Taylor's drums were largely responsible for Queen's sound. Roger is a very decent drummer and an even better high pitched harmony singer. Mercury was mercurial, a great composer and his voice was unique and wide-ranging.

My favorite albums in order of preference:

1.  Sheer Heart Attack
2.  Night At The Opera
3.  News of The World
4.  Jazz
5.  Day At The Races
6.  Queen II

I was fortunate enough to catch Queen live back in 86 or 87 in Sydney with Mercury still delivering the goods. Its the only concert where I could be seen singing to every bloody song. It was magical and satisfying.

What about the songs? Here is my recommended list of lesser-known ones, if you haven't heard most of Queen (just go to You Tube):

a)  Brighton Rock - a brilliant catchy rock number with possibly the best guitar solo by Brian May in the middle, play it loud.

b) In The Laps Of The God - An eerie, hymn-like, religious chant that is very melodious. Great harmonies. Listen to Roger Taylor's ethereal soaring harmonies. The song comes in 2 parts.. its the beginning of the inclusion of long play-operatic songs which led to BR.

c) Mustafa/Teo Torriatte - An throwback to Mercury's Persian/Zanzibar roots. Brave and bold. Plus a Japanese song that could have easily be the theme song for a Japan Olympics.

d) Fat Bottomed Girls - I had the huge poster of naked gals riding bicycles from the album. It was so wild.

e) Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy/ Bring Back That Leroy Brown - In their early records, they always insert some sort of vaudeville-like song. Versatility at its best.

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bruno said...

The markets are in the (C) wave of an A,B,C correction in wave (2).Wave (2) should top soon.Will add to shorts soon.

Have a wonderful day and enjoy the rest of the week,guys.

Value Investor said...


Thanks for the great info in your latest Queen posting.

Being a bit younger than you, my first introduction to Queen was through its "The Works" album in 1983/84. Later, I found out that Queen is more than Radio Ga Ga and Hammer to Fall etc.

As I grew from a teenager loving electropop to more purer rock, I begin to discover some of great gems from Queen from their 1970s albums especially Bohemian Rhapsody. Thanks to your posting, I am discovering less known great tracks like Brighton Rock. It really rouse my interest again to revisit their 1970s albums again.

Thanks again!!

walla said...

richard said...

Go see "A star is Born" lah.

bruno said...

This past Thursday,the Feds left interest rates unchanged.The statement was hawkish and the USD rallied and followed through on Friday.But the gains were timid,considering the markets have priced in at least 90% chance of a .25% rate hike in December.

By midday Monday,London time,if the Euro still remains above 1.13 and the Aussie above.72 cts,the greenback is in trouble.I went long Aussie at .7225 late Friday.Stops at .7180.

I covered my shorts in the S&P as a USD on the defensive might delay stocks from tumbling.

bruno said...

It is just one of the doggone days,when the thoughts of throwing the TV and computer out the window.A couple of hours before the markets close last Friday,I was watching the screen like a hawk on whether adding shorts on the S&P's is a good idea.

Buyers were coming in when the Dow was down 300 pts and the support was holding,especially on a Friday.The greenback was hitting a brick wall.So,I closed my S&P shorts and went long the Aussie.

Today,the Dow was down 600 pts and Aussie was stopped out 40 pics loss.Well,we have to eat humble pie and be content that losing is part of the game.I am going to sit on my hands for the rest of the week.

Have a wonderful day and enjoy the rest of the week.Cheers.

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