If you had a chance to watch just one documentary on the career of the band Queen, Days of Our Lives is that documentary. Long time Queen collaborators Rhys Thomas and Simon Lupton were asked by the band to produce the definitive 40th Anniversary documentary, which they did in two episodes, Part One 1970-80, and Part Two 1980-Present, both collected here on this lovely Blu-ray presentation together for the first time. Basically this is the band telling the story of Queen, featuring extensive interviews with Brian May and Roger Taylor (John Deacon still chooses to not take part in anything Queen related) and loads of live and interview footage of the band throughout the years.
Starting from the very early 70's when a group of college students got together to form a band, the film takes you through those rough times at the beginning, to Queen building up a slow and steady audience (thanks to the great musical chemistry between them and Freddie Mercury slowing showing the world what a 'star' he was becoming), to their first record contract and the albums, tours, decadence, hardships, and triumphs that would follow. Each album in the Queen discography is looked at, with live footage and interviews from each time period mixed in, and special attention is given to the major events that Queen were a part of, like Live Aid, their appearance in South Africa, as well as headlining the massive Wembly Stadium in the mid 80's. Of course, the most compelling part of the Queen tale is Mercury falling ill to AIDS and his eventual death on November 24, 1991. Footage is shown of a thin, fragile Freddie months before his passing, which is just heartbreaking to see, especially when most memories of the singer are of a fiery, charismatic, larger than life human being. Watching the band talk about Freddie, and especially the clips from the tribute concert they set up for him after his passing, will bring a tear to the eye of any longtime fan.
In the end, Days of Our Lives is a much a celebration of the career of Queen as it is a fitting tribute to the life of Freddie Mercury, so it really works on both fronts. Only a brief mention is given of the bands time with Paul Rodgers in recent years, so you can tell that this was finished probably a little over a year ago, but as a film detailing what Queen were about from beginning to end, it's a complete winner. Those looking for bonus features will also find additional extensive interviews and behind the scenes footage not shown in the film.