Jonathan Fryer

Writer, Lecturer, Broadcaster and Liberal Democrat Politician

Posts Tagged ‘Freddie Mercury’

Bohemian Rhapsody ****

Posted by jonathanfryer on Saturday, 16th February, 2019

D5F4B5E4-7120-45A7-85F0-1EA91156D236I deliberately did not see Bryan Singer’s Bohemian Rhapsody when it first came out. I’m not a fan of pop or rock and couldn’t have named one song by Queen unless prompted. Of course I knew about Freddie Mercury, the boy from Zanzibar with projecting teeth and an outrageous peacock style on stage, who died from an AIDS-related illness. But with such a crop of good films out recently, I had other priorities. However, the movie was in the selection offered on my recent Emirates airline flight — not the best way to see a film, I know — and I found myself riveted. Lead actor Rami Malek has received both awards and brickbats for his performance, but I found him credible and engaging, as well as convincing in the star’s decline. I loved the music (most of which I did recognise, after all) and I thought the long Live Aid scene really moving. It was astonishing to see an unrecognisable Gwilym “Midsomer Murders” Lee as Bryan May, displaying a talent I didn’t know he had. All in all, it’s a great entertainment (with some brilliant comic moments), as well as a  challenging reflection on the highs and lows of the popular music industry. Even an old square like me was engrossed.

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The Olympics Closing Ceremony

Posted by jonathanfryer on Monday, 13th August, 2012

I was so impressed with Danny Boyle’s Opening Ceremony to the London2012 Olympics that I thought I must watch the Closing Ceremony as well, though alas it did not live up to expectations. I know it was intended to be of a different nature — more of an after-party than a perfomance — and it did look as though most of the Olympians present were enjoying it. But I thought it was rather poorly constructed and there was an awful lot of aimless drivng around by vehicles of all shapes and sizes, the early ones for some inexplicable reason wrapped in newsprint. I thought having an actor impersonate Winston Churchill reading Shakespeare lines that had already featurred in the Opening Ceremony, this time from the opened top of Big Ben, was just plain silly. The best moment came with some, though not all, of the musical acts. The film of John Lennon singing ‘Imgaine’ (supplied by Yoko Ono, I believe) was genuinely moving and it was fun to have a resurrected Freddie Mercury leading a singalong. The Annie Lennox set was cool and Eric Idle was a treat in an example of British bonkers at its best; The Who were in better shape than one might have imagined. But all in all, I felt the evening was something of an anticlimax. But that doesn’t detract from the brilliance of the Games as a whole. Or the anticipation of the fun and riotous colour and music that there will be at Rio 2016, of which we got just a taster at the end of last night’s show.

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