From the perspective of the drone, we see Flash leap into the air, a moment of pure fiero.
Obviously, it’s more of a ‘yeeeaaah’.
He’s for every one of us
stand for everyone of us
He save with a might hand
Every man every woman
Every child – he’s a mighty Flash
It’s kind of striking. Just a repeat of moments from the main Flash theme. With a focus on the bridges and choruses, not the prominent and most obvious tension building.
It makes sense, structurally, it’s the moments of the release, instead of the moments of tension. It’s the motifs of his heroism, not the stuff he’s saving us from.
Where we do have the pulsing piano, it’s accompanied by more snippets from the film. The adulation of Barin. Dale’s passion for New York (which is a heck of a line, I think you can admit).
As Barin calls for peace, and the piano rolls out under the gang as they converse. And it feels like such a pay off. All that drama, just for one chance at something casual.
I’m a New York City girl, it’s a little to quiet here for me.
It’s impressive that they’re managing to pack an emotional wallop under such a bloated mass of celebratory cliche. There’s no opportunity to question the worthiness of Prince Barin, who’s suddenly in charge without discussion, despite him relatively recently shown a passion for abritrary murder and imprisonment (cages in swamps, a pretty brutal way to leave people to die) that is actually one of the main markers of the unpleasantness of Ming’s rule.
There’s no shake up, just a promise of peace from Timothy Dalton.
But fuck it, right? Because there’s a lovely piece of piano gliding underneath, and it really does pay off emotionally.
Dividing the theme up across the movie, and holding back on the calm melancholy bit, and just bringing it back as an instrumental? It’s bloody smart. As the whole record has been.
Which is impressive for such comic book melodrama. The thing to note here isn’t the shallowness of the script, it’s the power of the music.
And the whole thing is a perfectly fine adventure. We romp, we roll, we fall down and stand back up. Who cares what you’re fighting for as long as you get murdered, seduced, imprisoned and befriended on the way. We’ve seen swamps and sky palaces, war rockets and mind control. We’ve blasted through the immensity of space (mostly, apparently made of up dyes and smoke diffusing), and seen worlds explode.
It’s a story. It’s a silly story. It’s bold, it’s dramatic. It’s stupid. It’s fun.
And the music as worked for it all. It’s sold the moments, and emphasised the drama. It’s built the tension, and released it. It’s contrasted and segued and pulled us on for the ride.
I think the thing that stands out here, is that the record stands alone as a work of drama all its own. It tells the story in a different way, and some how packs the same emotional weight.
Not that emotional weight is the film’s strength, but you take my point.
There is something to celebrate here.
Even if it’s just that we’re nearly done.
Queen: An Exploded Diagram is me having big and little thoughts about every Queen song in chronological order. If you want to support me, making it more financially viable and easier to explain to people at parties, please back my patreon.
Illustration by Emma.