The Playwickian

Queen’s Legacy Lives on with New Movie

Gabi Ellis, Art Editor

Bohemian Rhapsody, starring Rami Malek, hit theaters early last month. It’s hyped and long awaited arrival left fans piling at the doors to see it. Whilst some argue that the story line was boring or it wasn’t done accurately, most fans and critics agree Malek truly embodied Freddie Mercury in the movie. “[Malek] did a phenomenal job with his portrayal of Freddie. I give him tons of credit, because that is such a stressful and difficult role to take on,” said senior Jared Preston, an avid fan of Queen. Malek’s intensive study and research on Freddie’s movement, language, and overall personality was well paid off as he’s been nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Actor. The movie itself was also nominated for Best Motion Picture.
One of the issues concerning the movie and its portrayal was the limelight on Mercury’s conflicting sexuality. Though it was a hot topic for interviews during the 70s and 80s, Bohemian Rhapsody took it to their account to make sure his sexuality was a conflict to be displayed in the movie. Unlike many reciprocators of information, it wasn’t completely decorated in a negative point of view either. The movie showed his struggle in coming to terms with it as well as coming out to friends, family, and the world.
The AIDS/HIV epidemic during the 80s was treated with disgust and resentment. Mercury passed away in 1991 due to bronchial pneumonia due to AIDS, an issue also touched upon in the movie. [Mercury’s death reinforced] the whole ‘gay’ disease thing but it also hit home,” said Diane Laurence, age 48, an avid fan of Queen.“His music was so powerful and meant so much to others. It was just so sad for so many. Some people were still hostile and gross but others lost a friend who wrote these amazing stories that we all connected with.” Even with his death and its more relieving effect on the view of those with AIDS, Freddie was still treated with disrespect as being outed LGBT was almost an abomination compared to today.
Mercury’s death had a major impact not only within the community of music but for the AIDS epidemic as well. His death solidified that those of extreme love and importance in the world were victims too. Brian May, guitarist of Queen, Roger Taylor, drummist of Queen, and Jim Beach, manager of Queen, established the Mercury Phoenix Trust to assist the fight against AIDS, raising over 17 million dollars in total today.
There is no doubt in Mercury’s impact on the world. Queen revolutionized the idea of what music could be and what one could do with it. Bohemian Rhapsody,(song) played a major role with that, incorporating multiple genres in one tune. Originally, no one thought it was going to be a hit on the radio, as their record label initially hesitated to release it, also shown in the movie. Yet, 30+ years later, young people today are still headbanging to the tune. Queen created catchy, unique bops with immediately recognizable motifs. Their input in the music industry was not only major then, but today as well.
Queen has sparked inspiration into the hearts of fans and viewers. Not only with their creativity with music, but their unique stage presence as well. Queen, “showed through their music and their embodiment of individuality, that no matter who you are, you can achieve your dreams. I think that’s pretty special”, said Preston.
Queen’s legacy is a never ending one. Even after Mercury’s death, their music continues to sell, especially with the release of the Bohemian Rhapsody film, their popularity will only continue to grow. “[Mercury] was loved by many during his life but his legacy certainly lives on. I don’t think he’s the gay rock star anymore. I think he’s a brilliant artist who speaks to so many. Everyone knows at least Bohemian Rhapsody. It’s hard to find anyone who hates it,” said Laurence. Queen’s vision in the 70s is one in the same compared to now, “In the 70s, Queen was a band; a couple of guys who loved music and wanted to share that love with the world”, said Preston. That much can still be held true, however, now “Queen is more than that, it’s a legacy. Through their music, they showed that expressing oneself is not only freeing, but something that everyone should experience at some point in their lives,” said Preston.
Their music has and always will appeal to many. Its relatability is one of the reasons why they’re deemed one of the best bands of all time. Anyone, “no matter how old can relate to the passion and freedom that Queen represents. Every person, however unique, is able to find something comforting in Queen,” said Preston. Their endless works of art will be recognized by previous and many generations to come. Even today, Brian May, Roger Taylor and new lead vocalist Adam Lambert continue to perform and preserve the legacy of not only the band Queen itself, but Mercury’s image as well. With the release of their 2019 tour, Queen will persistently work towards achieving that dream. Mercury’s vision, character, and undeniable impact in many aspects of the world will live on with their legacy. “Queen will live on!” said Laurence.

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Queen’s Legacy Lives on with New Movie