“Bohemian Rhapsody” is the Champion of the Box Office


Laura Doughton, Online Editor

By Laura Doughton

One of the most highly anticipated movies of the fall season was “Bohemian Rhapsody.” It follows the rise of British rock band Queen, and their lead singer Freddie Mercury. The movie opens at Live Aid, a world wide televised program in 1985 to raise funds for a famine in Africa. The story takes you back to the origin of Queen in a flashback and ends at the Live Aid performance, coming full circle.

   “Bohemian Rhapsody,” rated PG-13, received mixed reviews with a 60% from Rotten Tomatoes and 8.4/10 from IMDb. The consensus from the public differs from the critics who viewed the film before opening weekend.

   Photography teacher Phil Benenati went to see “Bohemian Rhapsody” opening weekend and enjoyed the detail put into the story.

   “One of my favorite quick segments of the movie was how Queen wanted to portray themselves as unique and uncommon with their music,” Benenati said.  “The drummer started beating on his drum covered in coins, then liquids were poured in it for unusual sounds and effects.”

   The movie provided insight for younger generations as to just how great Queen was and how unlike anything else of the time they were.

   “I knew a lot of their songs going into it…but I didn’t really know how they became what they became,” senior Bellé Moccia said. “I didn’t know that they all made their own songs, like I thought it was kind of like how it is now, like people make your songs for you.”

   Another highly praised aspect of the movie was the cast. The side by side comparison of the original band members and the actors cast to play them is remarkable. The cast wore wigs for much of the movie in order to pull off the 80’s look required for the part.

   “The cast was really good, specifically Ben Hardy, who’s the drummer,” sophomore James Doughton said. “He was really good, I really liked him.”

   Doughton also praised the soundtrack, which featured many fan favorites such as “Killer Queen,” “We are the Champions,” “Under Pressure” and, of course, “Bohemian Rhapsody”.

   Much of the movie focuses on Freddie Mercury’s rise into the spotlight and downward spiral due to mental health issues. Mercury leaves the band in order to pursue a solo career and later reunites the band to perform at Live Aid. In real life and the film Mercury is diagnosed with AIDs but the film takes some artistic liberties with the timing of the diagnoses in order to increase the drama.

   “I didn’t realize that Freddie’s motivation to return to the band was to play in the Live Aid concert shortly after receiving his diagnosis,” Benenati said. “But if you research the facts, it seems that he returned to the band and played Live Aid, and it wasn’t until two years later that he was diagnosed with AIDs.”

   Despite such faults the film was number one in the box offices opening weekend with $50 million in ticket sales in the US and Canada and another $72.5 million internationally. These sales exceeded expectations and further cemented the movie as a must see. Regardless of mixed reviews, one thing is for sure, you will leave the theater with Queen songs stuck in your head for days.

Photo Provided by Creative Commons