Bohemian Rhapsody: a film with many flaws

Krista Kroiss, Beat Editor

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After the limitless commercials end and the lights go out, the first thing you see is Freddie Mercury navigating his way to the stage at the historic Live Aid concert, the roar of the audience in the background.
This is where I get the chills.
Bohemian Rhapsody is based on the true story of Queen, from its formation to Freddie Mercury’s final performance at Live Aid, a charity concert at Wembley Stadium. The movie centers around Freddie Mercury’s life, addressing his struggle to accept his identity and the challenges he faced in his life.
As someone with a deep love for Queen, I came in with high expectations for the movie.
This is why I was slightly disappointed when the movie got facts wrong.
Like most non-fiction movies, the screenwriters altered several of events from Queen’s story for dramatic effect. One of the most significant examples from the movie is Mercury telling the band about his AIDs diagnosis just before Live Aid. In reality, Mercury was not diagnosed with AIDS until 1987. Live Aid was in 1985.
Another exaggerated fact from the movie was that Mercury and the band went separate ways for solo careers before coming together for Live Aid. In reality, the band was still together while Mercury worked on a solo album and Queen had just finished a tour two months prior to Live Aid.
Why did the screenwriters change the facts of Queen’s story?
The story is much more dramatic if the band comes together for the first time in years just before an incredibly high-profile gig, as Mercury is struggling from an AIDs related illness.
Also, altering the real story helps fit the most information about the band into the film’s two hour time limit.
I’ll admit, these inaccuracies were disappointing to me as a Queen fan. However, there is another perspective to consider: Bohemian Rhapsody is a movie, not a documentary.
With a documentary, the viewer expects completely accurate information, and with these accuracy standards, Bohemian Rhapsody failed to reach expectations. However, if one sees the movie with the expectations of a movie, then it portrays the band and Mercury well.
“It’s never going to be perfect in fulfilling the story of a man who we could make countless documentaries about,” Rami Malek, the actor portraying Freddie Mercury, told New Musical Express.
The movie was also approved by the surviving members of Queen, and the band played a significant role in the creation of the movie.
Overall, if you are able to see past the inaccurate details, the movie it will give you chills from beginning to end. The movie gives you an insight into the humans behind “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “We are the Champions,”especially Freddie Mercury.
You can’t expect to fully know Queen’s story from Bohemian Rhapsody, but you can expect to be entertained.

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