Inaccuracies and Triumphs of “Bohemian Rhapsody”

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Calling all rockers and champions! The movie “Bohemian Rhapsody” hit theaters everywhere on Nov. 2, and there is no doubt it is one that is a must see. This biographical film on the band Queen focuses on lead singer Freddie Mercury’s life from the moment he joined the band up until Queen’s Live Aid performance at Wembley Stadium in 1985. The movie featured actors such as Rami Malek starring as Freddie Mercury, and Lucy Boynton, Gwilym Lee, Ben Hardy, Joseph Mazzello, Aiden Gillen Tom Hollander, Allen Leech and Mike Myers in supporting roles.

The film portrays Mercury’s life throughout his battles with his sexual orientation and later on, his HIV diagnosis. Throughout the film we see the lush life and the glory of a rock and roll star. However, the audience is also shown the side of fame and fortune that is not so glamorous – the battles in Mercury’s mind, the tension between the band and the limelight creating false pretenses.

According to E News, the movie did not portray an accurate timeline of when all of the events in Mercury’s life took place. For example, in the film, it is shown that Mercury meets the other members of the band in the parking lot after May and Taylor’s performance with their band Smile. This occurrence took place after Smile’s lead signer quit that night. In actuality, Mercury met the lead singer at Ealing Art College and had been friends with May and Taylor prior to joining the band.

Another detail misrepresented was when Mercury met his longtime girlfriend, Mary. In the film, Mary and Mercury meet at a fashion boutique where Mary worked. However, the other band member May was originally the one courting Mary. One day, Mercury asked May if they were serious and if he could ask Mary out. After receiving May’s permission, Mercury and Mary instantly became long-time lovers.

The way Mercury met his next lover, Jim, was also portrayed inaccurately in the film. In real life, Jim and Mercury met in 1985 at Heaven, a gay nightclub.

Reality calls, and with that said, Mercury wasn’t the only band member to record solo at a point in time. Taylor had previously recorded solo with his single “Fun in Space” before Mercury ever did.

As for Mercury’s HIV diagnosis, the film shows him revealing to the other band members that he tested positive with the disease during one of their Live Aid rehearsals. In truth, no one is completely sure when the disease was contracted by Mercury, yet the test was run in 1987. Doctors were persistent in trying to deliver the news to Mercury, who was dodging their phone calls. The band was not aware of the situation or diagnosis until early 1989.

While there are some inaccuracies of the movie, overall it was a film of electricity and captivity. Learning how Queen’s hit songs were created gives the audience a greater appreciation for their music and rock and roll culture.

The lesson taken away from this film are far too great to ever put into words. When looking back, the top three lessons would be that one: fortune favors the bold. Two: creativity requires authenticity. And lastly, love conquers all.

We don’t want to put you under pressure, but you should go watch the movie. It will make you sure of one thing — that Queen’s legacy will live on forever.


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