Bohemian Rhapsody (2018) changed my life! No joke! This was the movie that got me into rock ‘n’ roll and convinced me to abandon my love for Taylor Swift, Ariana Grande, One Direction, Demi Lovato, Justin Bieber, and other useless junk (technically, I still listen to 1D, but not often). Bohemian Rhapsody re-introduced me to the music of Queen and got me curious about all things 70s/80s with bands like AC/DC, Van Halen, Def Leppard (my obsession the following year), Boston, and Iron Maiden.
Thanks to American Idol and Glee, I grew up with a lot of the songs played in the movie; everything from “Fat Bottomed Girls” to “Who Wants to Live Forever.” The day I left the movie theater, I had “The Show Must Go On” stuck in my head since it was playing during the end credits, so I searched up the song and the rest of their catalog on Spotify. I’ll tell the rest of this story another time, let’s just focus on the movie for now!
I didn’t go to see the movie right away; it was actually my dad that wanted to see the movie in the first place, so we made it a family outing. I saw Bohemian Rhapsody on November 12, 2018; I was able to search up the exact date because I posted an Instagram story that day about how I was drooling over Ben Hardy, who played Roger Taylor in the film. So yeah, technology comes in handy. I loved Bohemian Rhapsody so much that I saw it one more time in theaters on January 6, 2019; I posted an Instagram story that day showing my tickets.
On February 12, 2019, my mom bought me the movie on Blu-ray; I specifically wanted the Blu-ray version because of the bonus features. There’s about an hour and a half worth of behind-the-scenes footage including “Rami Malek: Becoming Freddie,” “The Look and Sound of Queen,” “Recreating Live Aid,” and the complete Live Aid performance that wasn’t released in theaters. I’d sometimes watch the bonus features one day and the movie another day because I love hearing about what went down making the movie from the costumes, recreating Live Aid, and how the cast prepared themselves to play the members of such a beloved band. I had no idea that Malek wore a prosthetic nose to match Mercury’s nose and fake teeth that matched Mercury’s buck teeth.
After I first saw Bohemian Rhapsody, I researched Queen and watched old interviews of them. Once I got to know the band better, the historical inaccuracies started to bother me more, but it wasn’t necessarily about songs released in the wrong order or the exact date Mercury revealed to the band that he had AIDS, it was more about the portrayal of the band members and Mary Austin, Mercury’s lifelong friend.
I thought Brian May, John Deacon, and Taylor were complete jerks towards Mercury, specifically when Paul Prenter, Mercury’s former manager, became a bad influence in Mercury’s life. They distanced themselves from him when Prenter was controlling Mercury’s life and causing friction within the band. Let’s not forget about that one scene where Mercury asks to join Smile, which was later changed to Queen, and Taylor replies with, “Not with those teeth.” Or when Freddie tells the band that he signed a solo deal with CBS Records and he talks about how he’s upset everyone has a family but him, so Deacon replies with, “You’ve got four million dollars, perhaps you could buy yourself a family.”
I get that Mercury was growing apart from the band and he was lonely, but the boys could’ve made an effort to reach out to Mercury and ask what was wrong, instead of pushing him to the side and lashing out at him. After doing my research, Queen was more of a family in real life than they were portrayed in the film; the movie made it seem that they were just people who worked together and nothing more. I felt so bad for Mercury in that scene making the music video for “I Want to Break Free,” where he was sitting on the side, while Deacon, May, and Taylor were jumping onto each other and having a ball, not giving a dang about Mercury.
I didn’t do much research on Austin, but I hated that scene where she introduces Mercury to her new boyfriend David and she wasn’t wearing her engagement ring from Mercury. I kind of see her reason for not wearing it, but still, she made a promise to him, so she could’ve given Mercury a warning or had a discussion with him about it. I got the vibe that Austin was pushing Mercury away because he was still relying on her, even though they weren’t together anymore and she felt bad for him because he was lonely. Though, she eventually did the right thing by going to Mercury’s house, and convincing him to abandon Prenter and go back to Queen.
Since Bohemian Rhapsody wasn’t meant to be a documentary, I get that a lot of the stuff in the film was meant for drama and entertainment, especially the character portrayals (that doesn’t stop me from being bothered by that, though). Despite the characters, I enjoyed the plotline, the build-up to Live Aid, and the transition between scenes. Also, I think the actors did a phenomenal job in their roles. Gwilym Lee was like Brian May’s twin, Hardy nailed Taylor’s feisty personality, Joseph Mazzello got down Deacon’s mannerisms and funny looks, and Malek captured the confidence and vulnerability of Mercury.
There isn’t a dull moment in this film; the scenes where Mercury tells the band he has AIDS and they perform at Live Aid are absolutely breathtaking! I urge you all to watch it (and buy it on Blu-ray for the bonus content), just be aware of the historical inaccuracies and keep in mind that it’s not a documentary. Think of it as a film about four guys wanting to be the biggest rock ‘n’ roll band in the world. I’d give Bohemian Rhapsody 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Let me know in the comments below your thoughts on the Bohemian Rhapsody movie!
Take care and see ya real soon!