I have long been an admirer of Freddie Mercury and Queen. I put Mercury right up there with Elvis in terms of his impact on music. Who’d have ever thought a popular band could successfully stick opera smack in the middle of a pop song running about six minutes long? Now the long-awaited biopic of Mercury and his band Queen, Bohemian Rhapsody, is set for release. There’s a dustup of course. And in the US, we’ll have to wait on the Brits and Aussies’ release before we see the film.
What’s the dustup about?
Bryan Fuller, prolific US TV and film writer responsible for the quirky, disturbing, and riveting series American Gods among other titles, is already criticizing the film. UK-based The Telegraph reported on a Tweet Fuller put out:
“He tweeted: “DEAR 20TH CENTURY FOX… Yes, it was a life-threatening illness, but more specifically it was AIDS. From having gay sex with men. Do better.”
Various accounts of Mercury’s life have noted he had been in a relationship for years, until his death, with Jim Hutton. Mercury also had a relationship with a woman named Mary Austin.
While I think a person’s sexuality is his or her own business, I find myself agreeing with Fuller on this matter. If you promote a film as a biopic, it seems to me you should be as truthful as possible. I don’t think the truth would tarnish Mercury or Queen’s image. Some of us who lost friends to AIDS remember a time when, early in the public’s awareness it was a devastating illness, families were hesitant to even acknowledge the disease that took their loved one. We know far more now about that illness than we did in the early 1990s.
The film took almost a decade to finish. Key players quit or were replaced. Eventually Rami Malek took on the role of Mercury. I first came to admire Malek’s talent when I saw him in episodes of the original ‘24’ series. Malek certainly had his work cut out for him in playing the role of Mercury whose voice was an amazing instrument apart from his incredible ability as an entertainer.
The trailer is very well done—it makes me want to see the film even more. I’ll reserve judgment until I see the whole film, but I’m hoping there’s honesty about Mercury’s life.
Mercury and Queen gave the world remarkable gifts through their talent. The song ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ is a work of genius. I’m glad to see a film is being made, although I’ll have to wait until November 2 to see it in the states. The film airs first in the United Kingdom and then in Australia before airing here.
You can view the trailer for Bohemian Rhapsody on YouTube.
(Kay B. Day/May 16, 2018)