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The party is over: Thoughts on Freddie Mercury and the hit film, ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’

The party is over: Thoughts on Freddie Mercury and the hit film, ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’

Queen biopic in the works starring Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury. | Wikimedia Commons/Carl Lender

A whole new audience is discovering the music of famed rock band, Queen, and its remarkable front man, Freddie Mercury.

Rami Malek won this year’s Oscar for Best Actor in a Leading Role for his spot-on portrayal of Mercury in the smash hit film, “Bohemian Rhapsody”. Simply put, the movie has resonated with audiences of all ages, especially teens. I sincerely hope we will all see the larger message behind it.

Born Farrokh Bulsara in Zanzibar to Parsi parents, Freddie Mercury took on a new image, name and identity to completely transform into the frontman of Queen. With his four-octave vocal range, it’s no surprise that Freddie is regarded as one of the greatest singers in rock music. As Queen quickly climbed the charts with hits like, “We Are the Champions”, “Somebody to Love”, and of course the rock anthem, “Bohemian Rhapsody”, Mercury came face-to-face with his wildest dreams and more.

Along with world-wide fame, Freddie found himself living the life of luxury with unlimited funds, and he found himself diving head-first into the pursuit of pleasure and fulfillment. He was the quintessential party animal, with stories that have become the stuff of legends in the annals of rock music. Elton John, who was a friend of Freddie’s, once said that Mercury was the only person that could out party him, describing his appetites as “unquenchable”.

Freddie was quoted as saying, “Excess is a part of my nature. To me, dullness is a disease. I need danger and excitement. Straight people bore me stiff. I love freaky people.”

In his song “Party”, Mercury sings:

“We got love and we got style. And we got sex and I know I know we got what it takes. Woah woah woah woah woah. Why don't you come back and play?”

This pursuit of pleasure is nothing new. The Greeks and Romans chased it in excess. The problem in living for pleasure is that it’s the least pleasurable thing a person can do.

The Bible tells us, “She that lives for pleasure is dead while she is living.” (1 Tim. 5:6)

It has been said that the best cure for hedonism is an attempt to practice it. Freddie attempted to practice it, but one day, the party was over, and it came to a screeching halt.

Again, from his song “Party”, Mercury sings:

“We got all night to play. Ah, comeback, comeback, comeback, comeback, comeback and play. Hey hey hey. Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye, goodbye, the party is over.”

Despite his global fame, wealth and power, Freddie Mercury lost it all, and eventually, that will be true for every man and woman on earth. We don’t know the day or the time, but at some point our party will be over, and then comes eternity. Ultimately, Freddie realized that in his attempt to become a star, he instead created a monster.

“The monster is me,” he said. “Success, fame, money, sex, drugs, whatever you want. I can have it all, but now I am beginning to see that as much as I created it, I want to escape from it. I’m starting to worry that I can’t control it as much as it controls me.”

Freddie’s excessive partying lifestyle eventually caught up with him, and he passed away of complications due to AIDS in 1991 at the age of 45.

There was a young king from centuries ago, a rock star in his own right, named Belshazzar. He went out of his way to break all the rules and throw a huge party, to effectively “thumb his nose” at God. One night as he and the people of his kingdom, Babylon, were in a drunken stupor, the young king saw a hand write something on the wall of the palace. You can imagine that he wondered if he was in some sort of a hallucinogenic state, but this was actually the hand of God Himself. One of the things the writing read was, “Your days are numbered.” That would end up being the last night for the young king that ignored what God had to say. The party was officially over.

There are so many parallels to this story and the film, “Bohemian Rhapsody”. The bigger story of this movie is that there is absolutely nothing in this world that can or will satisfy the deepest needs of our hearts. Only God can do that. You are created to know, love and follow God. When you do that, you’ll find the pleasure you’ve been searching so tirelessly for — not by seeking it, but by seeking the Lord.

The Bible says, “You will make known to me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; in your right hand there are pleasures forever.” (Psalm 16:11).

One day, it will be our last day. We will eat our last meal, give our last statement and breathe our last breath. Then, there is Eternity. If you have put your faith in Christ, you do not have to be afraid. I wish I could have shared this hope with Freddie Mercury. Perhaps today, I am sharing it with someone that is following in his footsteps. To find out more about starting a relationship with God, go to www.knowgod.org

Greg Laurie is the senior pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship, with campuses in Riverside and Irvine, California.

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