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Can British band Queen rock you?

Captured+from+the+film%2C+the+four+band+members+look+back+as+the+flee+a+stubborn+record+label+meeting.+Photo+credit%3A+Fox+Films
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Can British band Queen rock you?

Captured from the film, the four band members look back as the flee a stubborn record label meeting. Photo credit: Fox Films

Captured from the film, the four band members look back as the flee a stubborn record label meeting. Photo credit: Fox Films

Captured from the film, the four band members look back as the flee a stubborn record label meeting. Photo credit: Fox Films

Captured from the film, the four band members look back as the flee a stubborn record label meeting. Photo credit: Fox Films

By Mary Altshuller

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The new movie, Bohemian Rhapsody follows the adventures of the members of the British rock band Queen and shows the struggles that come with their fame. With the huge egos of the band members, the arguments, and the affectionate displays between lead singer Freddie Mercury and his male friends, it certainly was a rollicking good movie.

Rami Malek wasn’t the original choice to play Queen’s Freddie Mercury. Sacha Baron Cohen was first hired, then dropped out after three years of production. Malek was then brought on the cast.

In an interview Malek gave on Ellen Degeneres’ show, Malek said he had to work with a female choreographer to help him gyrate and move around a stage the way Mercury did. When Degeneres asked Malek about the fake teeth he had to wear, Malek said it was hard getting used to wearing them – to talk in them, sing in them (they used some of his vocals), and sleep in them. After the movie was finished, he admitted to her he felt naked without them. He then showed her the teeth that he’d had cast in gold and said that Freddie would probably have been tickled pink.

The surviving band members had their quarrels about how they – and Freddie Mercury – were to be portrayed. Band members Brian May was played by Gwylim Lee, Roger Taylor was played by Ben Hardy, and John Deacon was portrayed by Joseph Mazzello. Lucy Boynton played Mercury’s longtime girlfriend, Mary Austin. Although they never married, Mercury considered Austin his real wife. He even left the bulk of his estate to her and she still lives in the house, Garden Lodge, to this day.

Admittedly it’s impossible to cram two decade’s worth of work into a two-hour movie, but the film seemed to hit Queen’s highlights. From the argument they had with their first manager, whom they fired, to the break-up of the band due to Freddie’s signing a record deal with CBS, the movie’s producer and director tapped into the songwriting, the studio recordings, and the endless performances they gave around the world.

The film shares the struggles Queen had when they barely made it onto the roster of other rock groups to play at Wembley Stadium in 1985 to provide money to starving citizens of Africa. This was due in part to Mercury’s record deal with CBS to produce two albums. They even briefly showed a video at the beginning of the seating of their royal highnesses Prince Charles and late Princess Diana of Wales.

Many of Queen’s songs are eclectic and memorable – We Will Rock You, We are the Champions, Radio Ga Ga, Another One Bites the Dust, and, of course, the six-minute song Bohemian Rhapsody that had Queen’s management in doubt as to whether any radio station would play it. To this day, Queen is the only rock group to incorporate ballet and opera into their music. There was certainly plenty of foot-stamping enthusiasts in the theater with me and the room was packed for a Tuesday night.

Rotten Tomatoes gave it a score of 60%. I suppose other rock bands are going to want full-length features made of them now.

8/10

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