No one involved with Bohemian Rhapsody is allowed to go to Heaven. It is unholy, what they have created, and must stain all who birthed it. Everyone, even the trades guys who couldn’t give a shit about the movie, they’re just doing a job. The union electrician on Bohemian Rhapsody is now damned. Thanks, Brian Singer and Brian May and Roger Taylor and Regency Pictures. You just doomed a hard-working man from Redondo Beach to an eternity of torment. Because you needed to tell the reeeeeeal story of Freddie Mercury (featuring Queen).
Start off positive. The good parts:
- Bug-eyed little fuck kinda looked like Freddie until he moved.
- Brian and John’s wigs, but not Roger’s. (Deacy’s Live Aid hairpiece is particularly spot-on and spectacular.)
- The actors who played Brian and John’ Brian and John impressions, but not Roger.
- And that’s it, really.
In which is Inveighed the Tale of a Certain Mr. Mercury (featuring Queen) and his Misadventures with Homosex.
Make no mistake, homosex is the villain of this piece: it is what brings Freddie low, but through no fault of his own, no. He is lured into hairy butts. He is tempted by swollen dongs. Freddie loves Mary–her fucking name’s Mary, for fuck”s sake–so why does the world keep forcing homosex upon him? Even the saintly Mary!
“I’m bisexual,” Freddie says to her in a scene I watched from behind my fingers as though this were one of those movies with a babadook in it.
“No, Freddie. You’re gay.”
And Freddie’s taken aback.
“I’m, uh, pretty sure I get to say what I am.”
“No. Hush. You love homosex.”
And so on.
If Trump could attach an explosive charge to Mike Myers’ head rigged to blow if he spoke in a British accent again, then I would vote for him in 2020. The guy’s obsessed with those wet islands.
Anway, he plays the record company bad guy who didn’t actually exist. It’s a movie, you see, and movies need bad guys except there were bad guys in Queen’s career besides “the public’s ever-evolving tastes.” And translating that into a visual story would require someone with far more skill than Brian Singer. So we get Mike Myers in a cheap beard doing a Scouse accent. (Or maybe Geordie. It was a specific British accent, as opposed to a general “‘Ello, Guvnor!” type deal. I’m not saying the man’s not good at British accents; it’s just enough already. At this point, it seems like a fetish.)
Record company bad guy is all, “You can’t put out Bohemian Rhapsody! It’s too long! Kids will never band their heads to it!” and then the whole cast just stares at the camera for a good thirty seconds.
And Queen is like, “No! We’re gonna! We are Rock and Roll yay!”
They leave his office and chuck a rock through the window. Mike Myers and his fake beard are none too happy. Later on, though, he’ll get his comeuppance.
If the Grateful Dead’s biopic show at Amazon still exists, I’m cancelling it. There is literally one person on the planet who could write it correctly, and obviously it is me, and since I am not doing it, it must not be done at all. Cancelled.
Me, on the way in: Don’t nitpick the details. This was made for a general audience and therefore events will be rearranged for dramatic purposes. Don’t be an obsessive nerd.
Also me on the way in: If Ogre Battle isn’t on the soundtrack, I’m rioting.
And Paul Prenter. He was the bad guy, too, and actually existed in real life. He was Freddie’s personal manager and party buddy and generally regarded by the rest of the organization as a poor influence. In the film, he looms over Freddie. Physically. Every frame of every shot they’re both in. Except when he’s non-consensually kissing Freddie.
“No, darling. Stop it.”
“Yes, Freddie. Accept the homosex.”
Freddie wants to be the nice boy from the Parsi family, sweet little Farrokh, but the agents of homosex are insidious and relentless and throw such killer parties.
Bohemian Rhapsody is cheaper than Freddie’s taste in vodka. (They did get that right: the movie’s a two-hour ad for Stoli.) Save for two or three scenes, the whole thing is shot inside in cramped and barely-decorated sets. Plus, the producers–having busted the budget on Bug-Eyes’ dental prosthetic–skimped on mustaches; you can no fucking kidding see the damned lace in half the shots. The ‘stache is better than the one you would get at the Dollar Store, but not better than the one you’d get at Party City.
Seriously, look at the Brian:
That’s a good Brian.
The effects were special, just like some Olympics are; the concluding and supposedly triumphant performance is tragilarious in its incompetence and jankery. These shots are pure, uncut BLT, Enthusiasts. (Bush League Time.) There is, of course, a drastic difference in light between the live actors and the computer-generated stadium; it’s so bad as to resemble the old driving scenes where they’d shoot the car in front of a projected image.
But the seams showing is not as fun as the true problem, which is that someone–possibly someone under investigation for teenfucking but who is still being offered multi-million dollar contracts to direct movies–thought that Wembley Stadium wasn’t big enough, so the Wembley in Bohemian Rhapsody has a capacity of around three million. It stretches past the horizon and towers into the sky; it is Leviathan.
It’s okay, though. Freddie (featuring Queen) wins the day, and they even throw in the bit about Queen’s roadie (their lawyer in the movie) sliding the volume up on the soundboard right before the set. Literally every other fact concerning the show is wrong, but they got that right. They must play well, you see, because Freddie has received some terrible news, which he shares with his band via terrible writing.
“Boys, I have it.”
“The homosex thing?”
“How did you get it?”
And then they play Hammer To Fall.
I reserve the right to continue this, as I’m still furious. But I need a nap.