One thing I hate is when someone hypes up a film so much that by the time you watch it, it has no chance of living up to the expectations you’ve set in your mind.
This has happened to me a number of times and it’s a bit like watching the trailer to an “average” film that basically uses all of the good bits to sell it as something way more than it is. It’s just setting it up to fail.
Bohemian Rhapsody (2018) is a prime of example of this.
Before you savage me, let me explain.
I love Queen! I’m a musician and a singer (I use that term loosely) myself and to me Freddie Mercury is the cream of the crop as far as vocalists go. I honestly don’t think anyone can or will ever come close to his level of talent. I also enjoyed the film and, to a point can see what a lot of the hype was about.
These are my issues though: It was overhyped and factually inaccurate.
Now, I know it’s a film, and made for entertainment purposes and all of that, but it’s also a biopic which to me implies that it should be somewhat factual.
There’s a lot in the film that was over-dramatised, shoe horned in or just blatantly fabricated to make the film what it was.
To be fair I can forgive some of the minor things because, well, at the end of the day they're not really a big deal - like I said it’s entertainment. But when you’re making a film about an iconic band like Queen, surely there shouldn’t be a need to dramatise it. It's already a wildly compelling and tragic tale!
A few things in particular annoyed me.
Freddie wasn’t actually diagnosed with AIDS until 1987, two years after Live Aid yet he announces he’s “got it” to the rest of the band before the performance.
Also, by the time he decided to pursue a solo career, Roger Taylor (Queen’s drummer) had already released two albums and Brian May (the guitarist) had released a solo EP. The film made out that this decision created a rift within the band that caused them not to play together for a long period of time. In actual fact Queen had not long finished their “The Works” tour and were already well rehearsed for Live Aid with no feuds anywhere to be seen (other than the ongoing competition of who would write the next big hit and get the most money).
There are plenty more of these inaccuracies. Like the fact that Mary Austin originally dated Brian May before hooking up with Freddie, who was already friends with Roger Taylor and would regularly party with him. The film implies he meets them for the first time in the car park when he does his impromptu vocal audition after seeing them play.
Despite all of my complaining and nitpicking, I’ll admit I enjoyed the film more than I thought I would.
Originally Sacha Baron Cohen (Borat) was attached to the project and he wanted to tell a much different story, delving into the wildness and excesses of Freddie’s personal life. He and the band didn’t quite see eye to eye on this and instead of that story we got Bohemian Rhapsody.
This video clip of an interview with Sacha Baron Cohen on the Howard Stern show is worth a watch.👇
What do you think? Am I being too harsh? What did you think of Bohemian Rhapsody?
Let me know in the comments. 👇