Bohemian Rhapsody: Rami Malek IS Freddie Mercury

#21

The thing is, for me, the rise of Queen, what they released, that it became a hit, and their leader singer being so beloved and well who he was, I wouldn’t have believed any of that if it hadn’t actually happened either.

So yeah after I see anything historically or factually based I usually spend some time looking up the real thing. Live Aid in the movie and Live Aid as recorded, it’s close. It’s never going to be exact, but I don’t think they could have found better actors for those roles. Then again, most the critics, professional and otherwise, dislike the layout of the movie and/or the writing, not really the performances.

#22

[quote=“YakAttack, post:20, topic:138730, full:true”]
I feel that way about a lot of “historical” movies.[/quote]

I do too, man. I mean, it’s almost a given that things are changed, downplayed, exaggerated, stretched, or left out. It is what it is. Historical, based on a true story, etc are all the same. Things are highlighted based on the options of the writer.

But that’s ignoring the rest of the movie, where he nearly nailed every look, mannerism, and sound of Freddy.

I do think his performance in the actual movie (where they showed more in Live Aid concert,) was very close to the actual, which again, we only have one film source of. Rami and others could only go with what they saw/had.

#23
#24

Interesting interview. Thanks for sharing that.

#25

It was pretty cool to see the movie winning the Golden Globes last week, as well as Rami Malek getting an award for his performance as well.

The latest news on the movie is that it’s coming back to theaters as a Sing-Along version for 750 theaters or so across the country. I have never heard of such a thing. I would love to go and experience it, but I don’t think I can get away to the theaters around this time of year. :-(

If anyone gets to experience the sing-along version, report back!

P.S. While I was watching the movie the first time, I could hear several people in the audience singing along quietly around me. I was singing as well, trying to be quiet so no one but myself could hear me. My friend who went with me did dig into me with his elbow once though, so I must have been too loud.

#26

Mamma Mia was in theaters in a sing-along version, IIRC.

#27

Straight Outta Compton should do this, too.

#28

For band movies I think Straight Outta Compton was a better film.

But I am a Queen fan (imagine that) and was really quite entertained and liked this movie more because of the subject and music. I understand the choices they made to make the movie more dramatic; the joining of the band, the breakup, the AIDS diagnosis are all fabricated to provide a stronger narrative to the story. Frankly, I would have stuck to the real life story a bit more and shown Freddie overcoming AIDS in his own way by making some of the best music of his life. I would have either ended it with the Show Must Go On performance or the end of the video of I’m Feeling Slightly Mad interspersed with his death (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SYEfVK69KI4).

The shot-for-shot recreation of Live Aid was tremendous. Having watched that performance dozens of times it was eerie to see it redone so precisely. Rami Malek did a great job as did the other band members. I swear it looked like John Deacon was playing himself.

#29

Just saw this and loved it. no wonder its a commercial hit, even if the critics hate it.
I grew up in 1970s London, and they TOTALLY nailed that. The guy playing brian may was amazing with his voice just…uncannily spot on. And the general banter, and environment and the smoke filled pubs… it was basically a film that reminded me of being really young.
I know some of the details are wrong timeline wise but… movies.

#30

Really?

#31

I went to one of those! But that was on a campus with a bunch of college students arranging it, not in a commercial movie theater arranged by the movie studio.

#32

Btw, I was really happy to see Rami Malek get the Oscar this weekend. Well deserved. Him and his fake teeth were riveting on that big screen.

I’m seeing that Kanopy has a Freddie Mercury documentary. I’ll try to check that out this weekend, see if it’s any good.

#33

It happens regularly. For Rocky Horror Show, obviously. Also Grease and The Sound of Music. For more recent releases, we’ve also had sing along versions of Frozen and The Greatest Showman in cinemas. I’m sure there are many others. But I don’t follow those too closely.

#34

Yeah if there isn’t a local club or something, the best bet is one of the theaters. I mean it’s commercial but… it’s not like it’s their biggest money maker.

#35

Woah. I would love to find one of these. Such great songs to sing along to. Way better than Rocky Horror.

#37

I purchased this digitally for 9.99. It’s still enjoyable a second time around, but I typically enjoy the things I like for some time, and it’s not like A Star is Born which I won’t be seeing again. heh.

#38

Finally convinced myself to watch this last night, as I’m doing a bit of business travel this weekend.

For context: I think I can state pretty convincingly that there aren’t many folks here who were bigger Queen fans than I was in the mid-to-late 1970s. The Sheer Heart Attack album was the second record I ever bought with my own allowance money, in 1976 or 1977. I played it until the grooves were almost smooth. I was 9 or 10. It was utterly transformative, and sounded like the coolest thing I’d ever heard.

I bought Night At the Opera when I was 12, at Sears. I can remember the night: it was pouring rain and there was a huge thunderstorm and I’d saved up enough money to buy both the Queen album and the original soundtrack to Star Wars that same trip to the mall with mom. I think I played “The Prophet’s Song” and “Sweet Lady” that night on headphones over and over again until I fell asleep in my bedroom leaning up against the bed. I did pretty much the same with Day at the Races, and then News Of The World came out in the late 1970s. I can remember getting that record, and listening to it, and being totally rocked…and then completely disappointed. I think I was like 13 years old then, and even I realized what a disaster the latter half of that record was…and by “Get Down Make Love”, I realized they’d lost me.

And so.

I think I liked the movie well enough for what it was. I expected going in for it to be a flawed, kinda broken thing. And it is. But it also does a lot of good stuff, too.

I felt like the film is missing like a 10-15 minute section – or at least a montage – that shows the band going from playing clubs to discussing “Bohemian Rhapsody” in the record exec’s office. I mean, that’s the good stuff, when the band makes that critical push out of obscurity…and there’s nothing here to show us why Queen is important or famous or anything else, really.

And I felt like they kind of sanitized Freddie’s sexuality and the conflicts that played in his life. I realize they wanted to hold their PG-13 rating, but this felt like a network TV prime time depiction of what it was like to be an aggressively closeted – but flamboyant – gay man in the 1970s. And they did Freddie and the band a weird, ghoulish disservice by the Live Aid buildup. The band didn’t break up at all (they had done a HUGELY successful tour that ended just a few weeks before Live Aid), and Mercury hadn’t found out he was even HIV-positive at the time of their performance.

Still for what it was, I think I liked it OK, knowing what I was going to get before I watched it. And I absolutely adored the scene where Roger and Brian argue over their songs on A Night at the Opera. Even as a 11 or 12 year old kid, I thought “I’m In Love With My Car” stuck out on that record like a sore thumb. And while “Sweet Lady” is a treee-mendous hard rock song, Brian’s line about “You call me sweet like I’m some kinda cheese” felt super-weird to me as a kid, too.

Finally…I’d love a Brian May biopic. I mean, that would be pretty damn good, right?

#39

Also, how do you make a movie called “Bohemian Rhapsody” and have Roy Thomas Baker be essentially an extra with maybe one or two lines?

Like making a movie called “Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” in which George Martin has a 20-second walk-on.

Finally: I thought Rami Malek’s performance was just fine, but whomever designed the dental appliance for him ought to be knocked upside the head. It’s almost cartoonishly too large, and certainly creates much more of an overbite than Freddie actually had. Malek at times seems to be struggling to enunciate, which isn’t something I’ve ever seen Freddie do in any interviews.

#40

I haven’t seen the movie but thought the same things about how they handled his overbite. It seemed like something they might do on Saturday Night Live, not in a serious movie.

#41

So, funny story, that’s actually covered in one of the “making of” interviews that Rami gave some time back.
They initially sized them identically to what Freddie’s teeth actually were and they were horribly big for Rami to use in scenes. They had to be sized DOWN.

Some perspective:


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And a movie comparison:
Real Freddie:
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Movie Freddie:
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