What Did the Movie ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ Do for Queen’s Legacy?

By: Sarah Niezgodzki

OwlFeed Journalist

Queen, a British rock band that formed in 1970, became an international success after the release of their albums Sheer Heart Attack and A Night at the Opera. The latter featured the song Bohemian Rhapsody which became the name of the movie, released on November 2, 2018, which was created to celebrate Queen, their music, and their extraordinary lead singer Freddie Mercury.

It’s like society jumped in a time machine and was transported back to a time when Queen was one of the biggest bands in the world. Millions of people have once again fallen in love with the music and the members of the band. Freddie Mercury (lead vocals and piano), Brian May (lead guitar and vocals), Roger Taylor (drums and vocals), and John Deacon (bass guitar) have become household names that the past generations hold close to their hearts but are now also in the hearts of the younger generation as well.

The new film focuses on the rise of the band Queen. They reached unparalleled success, but in an unexpected turn Freddie, surrounded by darker influences, leaves Queen in pursuit of his own solo career. Having suffered greatly without the other men who helped him reach fame, Freddie manages to reunite with his bandmates just in time for Live Aid. While bravely facing a recent AIDS diagnosis, Freddie leads the band in one of the greatest performances in the history of rock music. Queen cements a legacy that continues to inspire outsiders, dreamers and music lovers to this day. But what exactly did this movie do for Queen’s legacy?

Some critics say that the movie did not focus on the dark side’s enough, and the struggles that made Queen and Freddie Mercury who they were. It’s hard enough to emulate other people’s lives without messing up in some ways. Nonetheless, Rami Malek, who played Mercury in the film, said to an interviewer that “what the film does really well is that it doesn’t spend too much time going into the darker places, the illicit places. We do that so we can show just how grand and big their life was”.

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Photo Credits: Variety

As for viewers of the movie, I spoke to junior Sydnee Messerschmidt about the movie and she expressed that “the movie Bohemian Rhapsody was amazing, but I wish they would’ve focused more on Queen as a whole. Brian May is one of the greatest guitarists in our history and he developed the band and the sound of Queen”. She also said that the movie “really helped their legacy, it is causing a new wave of people to help ‘bring them back from the dead’”.  

Now that the younger generation is immersing itself into the world of Queen, it has brought some controversy. Sydnee said, “It’s good that people are enjoying the movie and music, but if you didn’t like them before that’s okay! It’s like watching an episode of the Simpson’s then claiming you’ve watched it since the beginning. It’s ok to join a bandwagon but don’t be someone you’re not.”

All in all, this movie has received some backlash, like any great film does, but it brought Queen back into the spotlight. It’s an important evolution of our generation’s taste in music, and shows how Queen’s legacy will never die.