Bohemian Rhapsody Explained: What’s Up With the Ending?

The project of a film about Freddie Mercury and the band Queen was born for a long time. One of the main initiators of the project, as far as I understand, was the band’s guitarist Brian May, and the band’s drummer Roger Taylor was also in the producers. For the role of Freddie (his real name is Farrukh Bulsara, he was born in a Parsi family on the island of Zanzibar), many actors were tried. At one time, the main contender was Sacha Baron Cohen, who had his own vision of the picture, but Brian May did not like that Sacha Baron Cohen was going to make a dark drama, which, moreover, had to concentrate exclusively on the personality of Freddie, and the rest of the band’s musicians appeared there as something quite on the back.

The script was ultimately written by Anthony McCarten and Peter Morgan, with Brian May overseeing. The project took off when Rami Malek, an actor of Coptic origin, was approved for the role of Freddie. Bryan Singer (“Usual Suspicious Persons”, “X-Men”, “X-Men: Days of Future Past”) sat in the director’s chair.

Work on the picture was pretty hard. Rami Malek approached the work on the role with great care and demanded that the director endlessly reshoot scenes in order to convey the nuances as accurately as he saw fit. Singer was terribly angry, and he and Malek constantly had various conflicts. In addition, the director’s mother fell seriously ill while working on the film, and he allowed himself to be late for the shooting and sometimes even simply did not appear on them, and as a result, two weeks before the end of filming, Bryan Singer was replaced by Dexter Fletcher, who completed the film and was engaged in editing, but was not even listed in the credits (these are the rules of the Guild of American Directors).

The film opens with Freddie Mercury heading to the stage at Wembley Stadium for Queen’s performance at the Live Aid benefit concert in 1985. After that, the action jumps to 1970, when Farrukh Bulsara arrives at the club where the band Smile is performing with May, Taylor and lead singer Tim Staffel. In front of Farrukh, Staffel leaves the group, Farrukh offered himself as a soloist – well, off we go.

Despite the long duration – more than two hours – the events in the film are concentrated on a few basic episodes.

1. The arrival of Freddie in the group and the change of its name.

2. Acquaintance of the group with music producer John Reed (Aidan Gillen), who took care of their promotion.

3. Freddie’s acquaintance with Mary Austin (Lucy Boynton), with whom they were together for about seven years.

4. Recording of “Bohemian Rhapsody”, which, after the creation, was initially refused to play on radio stations, because it was too long and complicated.

5. Freddie’s involvement in a homosexual environment by his assistant Paul Prenter (Allen Leach).

6. Freddie’s refusal to cooperate with John Reid, after which Paul Prenter began to deal with his affairs.

7. Freddie leaving Queen to work on a solo project.

8. Freddie banishes Paul Prenter and returns to the bosom of the holy Queen Catholic Church to take part in a performance at Live Aid.

The genre of the film is declared as a biographical drama, however, in terms of the style of production, this is not a drama at all, but a perfect melodrama based on a certain part of the life of Freddie Mercury and the Queen group, well, purely scripted, this is all staged in the style of some potpourri, which is also completely blurred program. And it’s not even that here many things are shown completely different from how they really were – after all, the filmmakers themselves said that certain changes were made here.

The main problem is that there is practically no Queen group here and the secret of one of the most phenomenal phenomena in world culture, Freddie Mercury, is not explored in any way. Purely scripted here is just some set of fairly cardboard characters. The Queen group, which is still nobody and there is no way to call them, comes to John Reed and talks to him as if they are already champions, my friend. All the time, the statements of the band members that Queen are all one family are emphasized: it even seemed to me that I was at a meeting of some MLM company.

Taylor’s statement in relation to Freddie “You just killed Queen” is generally bullshit: as far as I remember, it was Roger Taylor who took up the first solo project, and not Mercury at all. Well, Freddie actually crawling on his belly in the “prastiminya” style and the scene when the other members of the group kicked him out into the corridor are just some May’s fantasies, honestly.

By the way, before performing at Live Aid, they had not two weeks, as in the film, but a whole year: they recorded an album in 1984 and went on a big tour with this album. And, as far as I read, Queen were not at all eager to perform in the daytime, without light, on poorly tuned equipment. (Each group was given twenty minutes to perform.) But, fortunately, they performed, and it was one of their highlights.

The theme of Freddie’s possible bisexuality in the film was approached quite strangely: neither yours nor ours. Prenter’s vile harassment, supposedly Freddie’s self-confession to Mary Austin … In fact, all these stories about his many sexual partners and orgies going on in his mansion are based primarily on a very lousy interview of this muddy Paul Prenter type, in which he verbally stated a lot , and, as far as I remember, he did not provide any evidence, as well as on the disgusting book of that same hairdresser (in the film he is a waiter) Jim Hutton, which he released after Freddie’s death and where he recklessly lied like a gray gelding, but at least earned some dough on it .

I don’t even know what the hell it was to drag it into the picture. Yes, even in the form of such a hardened stamping: oh, they parted, standing in the rain. Ah, come to me when you need a friend. Guys, when someone in the picture breaks up, standing in the rain, he must be driven to hell from the profession!

So what is in this film? There are many things here that I personally did not need to look at all. That ugly Prenter, Hutton. There is practically no Queen group here, and it would be very interesting for me to look at what relationships were within the team, how bold experiments were born in them, for which they were great masters. How did they come up with the idea to make a video sequence for “Bohemian Rhapsody”, and this is considered almost the first video clip in the history of music.

This is a very bright team, a very extraordinary group, Freddie is something absolutely fantastic in general. And as a result, we got a double show medley? Gathered, immediately became great? Did Prenter hit on Freddie?

I almost do not see their work in this film, but this is the most important thing. Why were May and Taylor so afraid to show, why did the picture turn out to be such a stamping?

So, you can say, why did you give her as much as 7.0, because this is a rather high score. I explain. Firstly, while watching it all looks very different. You still don’t know what will happen next, and you don’t see the whole plot as a whole. Enlightenment comes after watching – like a hangover after euphoria. And you understand that you were shown some kind of garbage. With the ingenious music of Queen and a real performance by Freddie Mercury.

Secondly, the picture is pulled out great thanks to Rami Malek, who plays with complete self-denial and at some moments achieves that some, albeit small, but still part of Freddie’s charisma slips through him. I don’t know how much blood he spoiled Bryan Singer, but the result, in my opinion, was worth it.

Thirdly, there are several bright and interesting episodes here – first of all, the recording of “Bohemian Rhapsody”, and even the reconstruction of Queen’s full performance at Live Aid – this is done absolutely wonderfully and one can forgive a lot for this scene alone. By the way, since that Wembley hasn’t existed for a long time, the scene of the stadium and some of the buildings were recreated for the film in full size, and very accurately and with great attention to detail.

Fourth, there are a lot of Queen songs in the film. Interestingly, some working moments of the rehearsals were voiced by Canadian singer Mark Martel: his voice and intonation are so similar to Freddie that he won the Queen Extravaganza project created by Taylor. For example, watch one of his performances with Somebody to Love. (Currently, Mark is performing on the show “Ultimate Queen Celebration”, with which he travels the world.)

As a result, although I cursed the script and staging to my heart’s content, I watched the film not without pleasure, and the understanding of what I actually watched came later.

Therefore, I recommend that you take a look. At least the wonderful songs of Queen sound there, Rami Malek deserves all respect for his work, and the final concert redeems almost everything.

Well, then it’s a separate pleasure to read the reviews of any shkolota who, besides that very performance on Live Aid, didn’t see anything and writes all sorts of nonsense about Rami Malek and Freddie, like the fact that Freddie was a two-meter giant (in fact, his height is a meter seventy-seven), and Malek is a short monkey (the actor’s height is one meter seventy-five), that Freddie has never been hairy in his life and his teeth have not protruded so rabbit-like. Sure sure. Exactly. He had never been shaggy, and his teeth did not protrude like that.

Freddie suffered from polyodontia – he had a supernumerary set of teeth, due to which his front teeth protruded strongly forward. Therefore, Freddie almost always smiles in photographs, without showing his teeth, and in conversation or while laughing, he often covered his mouth with his hand.

In fact, this defect is quite easily corrected in a few months, but Freddie was seriously afraid that such an intervention would somehow affect his voice (in fact, it would hardly have had an effect), and he did not dare to undergo an operation until the end of his life.

Well, this, in the end, became part of his image.

Here is Freddie performing “Bohemian Rhapsody” in 1975: Malek was obviously chosen for this image and he is really quite similar. And this “Bohemian” rhapsody, “Bohemian” or “Gypsy” – in my opinion, it doesn’t matter at all and it’s not very clear why break spears about this.

These are my impressions of this movie. Bad movie. Which I liked.

PS But listen, I really would like to see a high-quality and unstamped movie about the history of the group, made by an outsider who would not be controlled by May and Taylor. After all, it could be interesting.

PPS Well, just as a cherry on the cake. Idols then and now. The most influential and authoritative artist in the modern music industry, Kanye West vs. Freddie Mercury.

Bohemian Rhapsody
Director: Bryan Singer Cast: Mike Myers, Tom Hollander, Joseph Mazzello, Allen Leach, Aidan Gillen, Rami Malek, Lucy Boynton, Gwilym Lee, Ben Hardy, Aaron McCusker

Budget: $52M, Worldwide Grossing: $835M
Musical melodrama, UK-USA, 2018, 134 min.

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