You know how Rome wasn't built in a day? Turns out, neither was "Bohemian Rhapsody." Those familiar with the iconic Queen song probably won't be too shocked to learn this, given the track's pretty obvious musical complexities. But, thanks to the latest Bohemian Rhapsody trailer, fans can now get a sense of what the band's actual music-making process might've looked like. (Hint: It involves a lot of Galileo's.)
Just to clear things up, the Bohemian Rhapsody we're talking about here isn't actually Queen's ultra-popular 1975 track, but rather an upcoming Freddie Mercury biopic of the same name. As readers might've guessed based on its title, the film mostly serves to pay homage to Queen, the UK-bred music group who said they wanted to rock the world, and somehow ended up actually doing it. Unsurprisingly, Freddy Mercury (played by a very convincing Rami Malek) and his legendary talents take center stage in the film. That makes sense, since he quite literally took center stage as Queen's lead vocalist for the better part of the '70s and '80s.
The new biopic zeroes in on the earlier bits of Queen's pop cultural heyday, long before Mercury's untimely death in 1991. And, courtesy of the film's latest trailer (which 20th Century Fox released via YouTube Tuesday, July 17) fans can now take a peek into the band's really early days. As in, five years before "Bohemian Rhapsody" was even released, kind of early.
The trailer opens on a tight shot of Mercury, doing what the legendary performer did best. He's perched atop the bench of a grand piano, fingers poised assuredly over the keys, about to perform in front of what looks like some massive stadium full of eager faces. Suddenly, and with all the confidence of a bona fide musical mastermind, Mercury starts to play. It hardly takes a second for viewers to recognize he's plunking out the intro to "Bohemian Rhapsody," the electrifying ballad that headlined Queen's debut album, A Night at the Opera, in 1975.
At this point, the trailer has hardly clocked 30 seconds, but the viewer is already hooked. Those who've borne witness to the video's synchronized-foot-stomping goodness would probably have to agree, since, chances are, they're still inadvertently humming the chorus of "We Will Rock You," too. Makes sense, since the trailer's undulating soundtrack presents audiences with a searing mashup of Queen's greatest hits that's sure to stick audiences with a lasting case of the goosebumps.
The trailer's timeline jumps around a little bit, so it's not until about mid-way through that it delves into the origins of "Bohemian Rhapsody" and how the song actually came to be. But, after teasing fans with a quick glimpse of Mercury's first time meeting Brian May and Roger Taylor (his eventual bandmates, whose real-life counterparts actually serve as producers on the film), Bohemian Rhapsody's new trailer circles back to the song from which it got its name.
"No one will play us on the radio," Brian tells the band, wild-eyed, as a stripped-down version of the "Bohemian Rhapsody" intro picks up again in the background. Brian's solution, which he promptly presents to his bandmates, is plain. "We need to get experimental," he tells them. And, as those who've heard the full-fledged rock ballad already know, that's exactly what they did. With a run time spanning almost six minutes, an anomalous operatic interlude that works, and harmonies up the wazoo, you don't have to be a music expert to understand that "Bohemian Rhapsody" is anything but ordinary, as far as its musical merits are concerned.
But if there were any lingering doubts as to Mercury and the band's capacity for creative innovation, this trailer stamps them out. Following Brian's comment, the trailer cuts to a montage of scenes that chronicle Queen's "experimentation" process, which, from the looks of it, included a lot of actual musical experiments. See: the shot of Brian and Roger, just before the trailer's 60-second mark, playing guitars using what looks like a pair of violin bows.
And, as tends to be the case with most experiments of the cutting-edge variety, creating "Bohemian Rhapsody" certainly didn't come with its share of frustrations. The trailer touches on this a little bit, too, when Roger gets a little overwhelmed after having recorded the track's operatic "Galileo" sequence for the umpteenth time. "How many more 'Galileo's' do you want?" Roger exclaims angrily, before seemingly getting ready to hurl a coffee pot at his bandmates. Mercury, for his part, doesn't flinch. "Roger, there's only room for one hysterical queen," he cracks, totally straight-faced.
The rest, as they say, is history. Fortunately, the "history" in question here is quite a rich one, and it's also one audiences can watch play out onscreen when Bohemian Rhapsody hits theaters this November. Until then, the film's dynamic new trailer video will just have to tide us over. And for those wondering how the whole 'Galileo' debacle worked out? You don't need to wait for the movie to learn how that one ended up. "Bohemian Rhapsody," after all, pretty much speaks for itself.