Review Bohemian Rhapsody (2018)

Doctor Omega

Member: Rank 10
The Queen biopic “Bohemian Rhapsody” is headed for a stellar $46 million opening weekend at the U.S. box-office following its debut in 4,000 North American locations.

While critics have been heavily divided on the film with a 59% on Rotten Tomatoes, audiences were more pleased and awarded it an ‘A’ CinemaScore. The biopic stars Rami Malek as frontman Freddie Mercury and earned $18.4 million Friday.

Doctor Omega

Member: Rank 10
Cohen’s “Bohemian” Would’ve Been Way Less Tame


The critics have been very mixed on the Queen biopic “Bohemian Rhapsody”. Praise is high for star Rami Malek’s performance, and the film goes out on an undeniable high with its recreation of the Live Aid concert, but much of the film before that point is has been labelled shallow and slammed for playing things incredibly safe, sanitised, sexless and highly conventional.

The original band certainly never played it safe in their heyday, and the softening arguably goes beyond mere censorship to the point of re-writing and reframing much of the band’s history in a way that’s flattering to everyone, especially the surviving members, aside from one of Freddie’s confidantes who becomes the ‘villain’ of the piece.

In fact, long before the film’s troubled production began, it struggled its way through development as there were many different ideas of which direction the project should go. Surviving members Roger Taylor and Brian May famously had to be talked out of making the second half of the film about themselves and the band’s post-Freddie era.

Still, the most well-known change was that of casting. Five years ago comedian Sacha Baron Cohen was signed to portray Freddie Mercury with Stephen Frears onboard to direct. That version was a very different interpretation, one both far more accurate to history and unafraid to shy away from the rough edges of the story.

Speaking with Vulture this week, Frears opened up about what type of film he and Cohen were going to make saying: “Sacha wanted to make a very outrageous film, which I would imagine Freddie Mercury would have approved of. Outrageous in terms of his homosexuality and outrageous in terms of endless naked scenes. Sacha loved all of that… You could always tell there would be trouble with the rest of the band. Because [Sacha] was so outrageous and they weren’t. They were much more conventional.”

A former Sony exec added: “It was a biopic of Freddie more than the story of the band, although a portion of the structure dealt with the ups and downs of the band, but always from Freddie’s POV.” In addition, it has been revealed that both David Fincher and Tom Hopper met about the film before Frears became involved.

Cohen ultimately left over the creative differences – the surviving members of the band controlled the music rights and thus the film, with Bryan Singer and then Malek ultimately coming onboard.

The Seeker

Member: Rank 6
I just saw the movie and I loved it! Rami Malek was brilliant! But yes, it certainly was tamer than it would have been had Sasha Baron Cohen and Stephen Frears done it, it seems. There were hints of infidelity in Roger Taylor’s marriage that were never explored, and the rest of the band came off as pretty tame in comparison to Mercury. The film was pretty much about him. They paid very little attention to John Deacon. I’m glad there were no orgy scenes though, I wouldn’t have needed to see that. But I’m curious as to what the original film would have been like.
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Doctor Omega

Member: Rank 10
Watch Freddie Mercury's Rare 1982 ET Interview (Exclusive)

The legendary Queen frontman opened up about his onstage persona and public image in a 1982 sitdown with Entertainment Tonight.

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Doctor Omega

Member: Rank 10
How Paul Prenter betrayed Freddie Mercury before his death and became the 'villain' of Bohemian Rhapsody movie

Paul Prenter and Freddie Mercury were lovers who fell out before his death from Aids-related complications - but what actually happened between them.


One figure that's causing a stir thanks to Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody is former manager Paul Prenter.

Brian May said the film was ten years in the making to make sure it was 'right', but fans still have a lot of questions after its release.

The movie follows Queen, from their formation to Live Aid, covering their struggles and arguments as well as highs.

There are plenty of familiar faces including all the main band members Freddie Mercury, Brian May, Roger Taylor and John Deacon.

The main focus though is on Freddie Mercury .

Freddie's former manager Paul Prenter also features heavily and is portrayed as the villain of the piece.

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In Bohemian Rhapsody Freddie is asked by his fellow band members why he's sacked Prenter. "Villainy," he flippantly jokes.

But how accurate is the movie?

Prenter was Freddie’s manager from 1977 to 1986, and, just as the movie suggests, he attracted criticism for the influence he had over the star.

His influence wasn't just in Mercury's career, they were also lovers.

The timeline is adapted a little in the movie. One main change is Prenter was fired after Live Aid rather than before as the movie suggests.

The breakdown of their relationship was a bit more complicated than a row over how bad Prenter was at passing on a message.

Arguing over Hot Space
Things really turned sour in 1982 after the band released their album Hot Space.

May and Taylor were unhappy and critical of the album and ended up blaming Paul for the influence he'd had over the sound.

The album wasn't well received, with Q magazine featuring it in their list of the top albums in which rock musicians lost their touch.

Prenter was also seen as dismissive of radio station's influence at the time going so far as to turn down interviews.

Paul Prenter's interview
Look at any Queen fan forum and you soon find the hatred aimed at Prenter. He's tarred with terms such as 'Judas' and 'Devil's Spawn'.

Most of the hatred stems from Prenter selling his story to a national newspaper after they broke up.

Their relationship appeared to have broken down after Mercury "ditched the scene" turning away from drink and drugs and their partying ways.

Prenter held nothing back sharing details about Mercury's personal life, his lovers and vices.

He claimed Mercury had slept with hundreds of men and that two of his former lovers had died of Aids.

"Freddie was so scared he would catch it.

"It was more likely that I would see him walk on water than go with a woman," Prenter said. "Once his friends started dying, Freddie knew his wild life had to stop."

Prenter also spoke about Mercury's early life seeming to break his confidence.

"Freddie told me his first homosexual relationship happened when he was at boarding school in India when he was 14," he said. "While we were touring there would be a different man every night, He would probably go to bed by 6am or 7am – but rarely alone.

"He has a fear of sleeping alone, or even being alone for long stretches."

Mercury acted swiftly and fired Prenter as his manger.

Mercury's lover, Jim Hutton, said the singer felt it was the ultimate betrayal.

In his book, Mercury and Me, he said: "On May 4, Freddie was devastated by another story about him in the Sun. And so was I. His old friend, Paul Prenter had stitched him up.

"Aids Kills Freddie's Two Lovers, it declared, and the story was run across three pages. Tony Bastin, from Brighton, and John Murphy, an airline steward, had died from the disease in 1986. And Prenter claimed that Freddie had called him late one night and poured out his fears about Aids."

The same article named Jim Hutton. The pair later found out Prenter had been paid for his story.

"We later learned that Prenter had been paid about £32,000 by the paper for his story," Hutton wrote. "Freddie never spoke to him again. For the next few days there was more in the Sun, and at each episode of Prenter's story Freddie became angrier. Prenter sold the paper several photographs of Freddie with various lovers and these were thrown over two pages under the heading All The Queen's Men."

Hutton added that Prenter had tried to get in touch with Mercury to explain, ringing Garden Lodge,
"but Freddie wouldn't speak to him."

Hutton said: "Prenter tried to excuse his appalling behaviour by saying that the press had been hounding him for so many weeks he'd finally cracked under the pressure. Freddie didn't want to know Prenter's excuses; he felt unforgivably let down."

How did Paul Prenter die?
The singer didn't publicly acknowledge he had the sexually transmitted disease until he released an statement on November 23, 1991 - the day before his death.

"Following the enormous conjecture in the press over the last two weeks, I wish to confirm that I have been tested HIV-positive and have AIDS.

I felt it correct to keep this information private to date in order to protect the privacy of those around me.

However, the time has now come for my friends and fans around the world to know the truth and I hope that everyone will join with me, my doctors and all those worldwide in the fight against this terrible disease."

Prenter died from Aids related complications in August 1991 just three months before Mercury died.


Doctor Omega

Member: Rank 10
Thankfully death no longer seems to be the obstacle it used to be and barely a fortnight ago, this following guy had an in-depth chat with Freddie.....

Well, I say in-depth. If you allow for the gibberish.

FREDDIE MERCURY's Spirit Speaks. Hear his Message from the Portal.