“Bohemian Rhapsody’: relive a great musical journey

By Cameron Rasmusson
Reader Staff

Starting this week, relive one of the greatest musical journeys of the ‘70s and ‘80s when “Bohemian Rhapsody” hits the Panida Theater.

A still frame from “Bohemian Rhapsody” starring Rami Malek. Courtesy photo.

A biopic covering the legendary rock band Queen and its charismatic frontman, Freddie Mercury, the movie follows the band from obscurity to pop-culture immortality. Along the way, the band endures turmoil among its members and a devastating AIDS diagnosis. It’s a dramatic undercurrent for a visually spectacular and infectious retelling of Queen’s greatest hits and shows, culminating in the band’s legendary 1985 Live Aid performance.

“Bohemian Rhapsody” proved a massive box office hit following its Nov. 2 U.S. release, raking in $700 million on a $50 million budget and earning ninth place among the year’s highest-grossing movies. That’s enough to distinguish it as the highest-grossing musical biopic to date, unseating the previous record holder, 2015’s “Staight Outta Compton,” by a wide margin.

The film overcame a hellish production to mint its box-office gold. Originally, “Bohemian Rhapsody” was set to star Sacha Baron Cohen as Mercury, but the comedian left the production over creative differences with its producers. Then, as the movie advanced from pre-production to filming, director Bryan Singer was eventually fired and replaced by Dexter Fletcher after a string of unannounced absences from the set. Singer now faces allegations of sexual misconduct and is yet another high-powered Hollywood mogul under scrutiny following the arrest and prosecution of producer Harvey Weinstein.

Whether they praised or panned the movie, most critics found a star in lead actor Rami Malek, who portrays Mercury at both the highest and lowest points of his life. Capturing both the humanity and magnetic star power of a pop culture icon is no small feat, but Malek proved more than up to the task. According to a Rolling Stone account of the production, the 37-year-old actor underwent an exhaustive training program to become the rock star, undergoing coaching to replicate his movement, accent, singing and piano playing. That level of commitment is no surprise to audience members who follow Malek in the critically-acclaimed show “Mr. Robot,” in which the actor delivers an award-winning performance as the brilliant but troubled cybersecurity engineer and hacker Elliot Alderson.

See the story behind your favorite Queen songs when “Bohemian Rhapsody” screens at the Panida Theater from Jan. 4-6. Tickets are available online at www.panida.org or at the door for 8:30 p.m. on Jan. 4, 1:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on Jan. 5 and 3:30 p.m. on Jan. 6.

While we have you ...

... if you appreciate that access to the news, opinion, humor, entertainment and cultural reporting in the Sandpoint Reader is freely available in our print newspaper as well as here on our website, we have a favor to ask. The Reader is locally owned and free of the large corporate, big-money influence that affects so much of the media today. We're supported entirely by our valued advertisers and readers. We're committed to continued free access to our paper and our website here with NO PAYWALL - period. But of course, it does cost money to produce the Reader. If you're a reader who appreciates the value of an independent, local news source, we hope you'll consider a voluntary contribution. You can help support the Reader for as little as $1.

You can contribute at either Paypal or Patreon.

Contribute at Patreon Contribute at Paypal

You may also like...

Close [x]

Want to support independent local journalism?

The Sandpoint Reader is our town's local, independent weekly newspaper. "Independent" means that the Reader is locally owned, in a partnership between Publisher Ben Olson and Keokee Co. Publishing, the media company owned by Chris Bessler that also publishes Sandpoint Magazine and Sandpoint Online. Sandpoint Reader LLC is a completely independent business unit; no big newspaper group or corporate conglomerate or billionaire owner dictates our editorial policy. And we want the news, opinion and lifestyle stories we report to be freely available to all interested readers - so unlike many other newspapers and media websites, we have NO PAYWALL on our website. The Reader relies wholly on the support of our valued advertisers, as well as readers who voluntarily contribute. Want to ensure that local, independent journalism survives in our town? You can help support the Reader for as little as $1.