|The movie 'Bohemian Rhapsody' is shown in a theater in Seoul.|
By Oh Young-jin
Koreans have saved Queen. They love him. Even more of them will likely, if they have not already, watch the movie "Bohemian Rhapsody" ― about its late lead singer Freddie Mercury ― than people of any other country, including Mercury's adopted home, Britain.
It is an open question why Koreans have fallen for the singer whose super talent was only surpassed by the tragedy of his life. I asked some of those who have seen the movie why and found that it was more than nostalgia, since a significant portion of them were born well after the band's heyday.
Two women colleagues in their 20s said they wanted to check out the songs and the singer, whom they listened to. They said they liked the sing-along events, at which moviegoers were encouraged to sing Queen songs while watching the movie.
A fleeting thought: By watching the movie, I thought Koreans showed their compassion for Brits who are about to be thrown into the wild and could be left a pariah through the implementation of Brexit. Or for the singer whose songs somehow boiled down to the pursuit of love to be unfulfilled as if he as immigrant had sought acceptance without success.
Originally, I felt tempted to class the moviegoers with one big stroke, to conclude that a cultural inferiority complex, 20th Century Fox's marketing gimmicks and word of mouth, nostalgia and a collective case of depression in the country were all part of the movie's success.
When I was about to write, I realized that I hadn't seen the movie so was unqualified to judge it and those who watched it. (More frankly, I decided not to watch it out of a petty mind, because so many people were watching it and I didn't want to jump on the bandwagon.)
|Freddie Mercury, leader of the group, Queen, performs in the jam-packed Wembley Stadium in London ― a scene from the movie. Korea Times|
As part of self-reflection, I took some of the lyrics from 10 Queen songs. All you have to do is to come up with the titles. For those who are frustrated not knowing any of the correct answers, let it be known that the 10th answer is "Bohemian Rhapsody." So you can start with one correct answer. Please enjoy the Queen quiz.
Left alone with big fat Fanny
She was such a naughty nanny
Heap big woman, you made a bad boy out of me
When I grow older
I will be there at your side to remind you
How I still love you (I still love you)
Stomp, stomp, clap (repeat)
Everyday (everyday) I try and I try and I try
But everybody wants to put me down
They say I'm going crazy
They say I got a lot of water in my brain
Ah, got no common sense
I got nobody left to believe in
I've taken my bows,
And my curtain calls.
You brought me fame and fortune, and everything that goes with it.
I thank you all.
For Khrushchev and Kennedy
At anytime an invitation
You can't decline
Caviar and cigarettes
Well versed in etiquette
I'm a shooting star, leaping through the sky
Like a tiger defying the laws of gravity
I'm a racing car, passing by like Lady Godiva
I'm gonna go, go, go
There's no stopping me
But life still goes on
I can't get used to living without, living without
Living without you by my side
I don't want to live alone, hey
God knows, got to make it on my own
It's the terror of knowing what the world is about
Watching some good friends screaming
"Let me out!"
Pray tomorrow gets me higher
Pressure on people, people on streets
I see a little silhouetto of a man
Scaramouche, Scaramouche, will you do the Fandango
Thunderbolt and lightning, very, very fright'ning me
(Galileo) Galileo, (Galileo) Galileo, Galileo figaro magnifico