Whatever your thoughts on Bohemian Rhapsody, the controversial Queen biopic starring Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury, the movie is undeniably a crowd-pleaser. And some would argue, maybe that’s all it needed to be.
With the 91st Academy Awards ceremony practically here, Entertainment Weekly has partnered with The Take to bring you a series of videos diving deep into this year’s Oscar contenders. (Check out previous videos on A Star Is Born and Roma.) This time, we’re taking a look at Bohemian Rhapsody to explain why the film took the liberties it did regarding real-life details.
As the video points out, Bohemian Rhapsody follows the usual Dewey Cox-esque musician biopic story beats pretty closely. To do so, it had to fudge some things, including compressing the time frame and creating conflicts that simply didn’t happen. But the movie has a not-so-secret weapon in its arsenal that helps it stand out: the music of Queen. And the filmmakers know that this music, more than anything else, is what the audience really came for. So when it comes time for Bohemian Rhapsody to deliver on this front, it decidedly delivers.
All the same, one has to wonder what a more true-to-life version of the story might have looked like, though that version probably wouldn’t have been as fun to watch and sing along with. And to be clear, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to have a good time at the movies. So maybe it’s better to appreciate what we have instead of mourning what we could have had.