Was Bohemian Rhapsody Movie a Joke or a Masterpiece

Freddie Mercury was, and still is, one of the best singers of all time. In addition to the worldwide fame he had, he was also a person who was constantly written about in the magazines and the newspapers. Everyone was always trying to peek through his private life. His death at a young age was a great loss for the world. Although he died prematurely, people never stopped being curious about him and his music. This is the reason why Bryan Singer created this Freddie Mercury biopic, aka Bohemian Rhapsody.

I had the chance to watch the movie in Imax when it first came out and it was as if Queen was giving a concert in front of me. I believe there must have been a movie about Queen made a long time ago since they are one of the most worldwide known bands in history. Although there are some documentaries made, but nothing like this. In this article, I will argue whether Bohemian Rhapsody was good or bad with mentioning factual inaccuracies in the movie, and some theories about Freddie Mercury. Beware, the article contains spoilers, so if you haven't watched the movie yet, read this carefully. In addition, the content of both the movie and the article isn't appropriate for those under 12, please be aware of this. Grab a cup of coffee or tea and let's move onto our topic.

Factual Accuracy of Bohemian Rhapsody movie

Freddie Mercury's Life Before He got Famous

Before Freddie got famous, he was a shy college student who was musically gifted. But Freddie wasn't an ordinary Englishman at all. Many things were going on in his life that was affecting his self-confidence and psyche. Freddie, real name Farrokh Bulsara, was a Parsee who had an Indian origin. He was born in Tanzania and attended an English boarding school, later he moved to England with his family. I'm sure many of you have heard of the racism that Indian Parsees faced in the past. It is unfortunately not a surprise that another minority group had to face discrimination. So, as an Indian Parsee in England at that time, it was almost impossible for Freddie to achieve the fame that he had achieved.

Freddie was of course aware of the racism he might face in England so he changed his name and never mentioned his nationality after he got famous, unless it was necessary to. There was a reference to the fact that he changed his name at the beginning of the movie as well. His race and his national identity were some of the reasons it was hard for him to come to terms with his own identity and to have self-confidence. This lack of self-confidence can be clearly seen at the beginning of the movie.

Even though he wasn't famous yet in the beginning and not self-confident enough, the way he spoke, his clothing, even the way he walked were all unique and majestic. Actually, these had a great influence on the shaping of his identity on the stage. In the movie, young Freddie, whose self-confidence had not settled yet, could only express himself through music. We saw this when he met the band for the first time.

Freddie Mercury's life before he got famous or met with Queen

Before Freddie became the lead singer of Queen, he was interested in music since he was little. When he was living with his aunt and his grandparents in Mumbai (India), he studied piano and joined his first band, the Hectics, according to Biography. In London, he attended Ealing College of Art and joined another band, called Ibex. All of these show that he had a music career long before joining Queen, but this part of his life wasn't shown in the movie at all! The real reason behind this is actually not known. Perhaps, they did this because it is considered to be a movie about Freddie’s life after Queen, not his whole life story.

I would like to talk about the other thing that affected his psychology, which was his sexual orientation. Homophobia, as you all know, was actually the general attitude of people at that time. It wasn't considered to be something wrong. Bullying and threats that queer people faced everyday were very common. Of course, Freddie had to hide the fact that he was gay in such an environment, but I'm not sure how accurately this part of his life was shown in the movie. 

The Relationship between Freddie and Mary Austin

I'm sure you remember Mary Austin, the one Freddie wrote Love of my Life song for. In real life too, Freddie and Mary were inseparable. First of all, I want to make it clear that Freddie and Mary's relationship was genuine. Freddie told both her and reporters over and over again how much he loved Mary throughout his life. 

In an interview, Freddie stated the fact that for him, the relationship between him and Mary was a marriage. Therefore, many things about their relationship that are shown in the movie were true.

But their love seemed to be covered up a bit after he came out to her. In real life, they remained to be friends for life. Frankly, the relationship between the two still remains to be a bit of a mystery, and there are people who think Freddie was actually bisexual. In the movie, Freddie said that he was bi while Mary said "No Freddie, you are gay." This was actually not the case in real life. When Freddie said he was bisexual, Mary didn't say anything and she remained silent.

There is also a theory about one of the Queen songs, “Bicycle Race”. In the song, when Freddie says "I want to ride my bicycle" over and over again, the theory suggests that he actually meant to say bisexual instead of bicycle. I don't think it is an important topic to argue whether he was gay or bi since it doesn't matter, yet I wanted to let you guys know about it in order for you to grasp the whole picture.

The real relationship between Freddie Mercury and Mary Austin

Freddie's Unknown Traumatic Past

Everyone has been trying to understand Freddie and his music for many years now. Bohemian Rhapsody is among the most mysterious songs in the world. But there's a question only a few people ask, what happened in Freddie's past? What was the thing that make him create this confusing and, in my opinion, sad song?

We have watched Freddie’s life after he met the band members, Brian MayRoger Taylor, and John Decan, throughout the movie. We've seen their lives, together and apart, but the unknown part was Freddie's childhood. When Freddie left his home to become famous, he never came back. In the movie, Freddie’s partner, Jim Hutton met Freddie’s family and Freddie reunited with his family in that scene, but this wasn't the case in real life. Queen's other band members stated in an interview that Freddie had never told his family that he was gay. When he was on his deathbed, his mother came to the hospital and they had had not seen each other for years before that. The reason behind this still remains to be a mystery.

His family might have been oppressive and traditional, but that doesn't sound like the only reason he would go no contact until he is about to pass away. In another interview, it is mentioned that Freddie was sexually assaulted while in boarding school. You probably remember the scene where he introduces Mary to his family. When his mother started to show pictures of him to Mary from his childhood, Freddie started to play the piano and sing loudly. It was obvious that he was trying to suppress something.


Later in the movie, Freddie had phone called Mary at night after he moved to his luxurious house and he was turning the lamp on and off so that she could see it through the window. In that scene, Freddie was clearly depicted as a wounded child by the director.

“Freddie was at the top of the world but why was he so depressed?” I asked myself this while watching the movie for the second time. It was as if he came to life on stage and was in a state of sleep when he was off the stage. It was as if he was trying to silence his mind. Yet, the movie didn't give any solid answer to this.

There are some scenes that I want like to draw your attention to;

Freddie Mercury's Unknown Traumatic Past

Before Live Aid, there was a scene where Freddie hugged his father tightly before he left the house. This was the part when he took Jim Hutton, his partner, to introduce to his family. It was as if his heart had reconciled with his father in that scene. But the real question is why didn't he hug his mother? Freddie's relationship with his father is shown several times in the movie, but his relationship with his mother isn't described in the movie in a detailed way. There is a famous quote from Freddie "I'm just a musical prostitute, my dear". One can't help but think, what made Freddie, who defines his artistic identity in this way, to feel this way.

If we take a look at the lyrics of Bohemian Rhapsody, the song, one can feel as if the turmoil in his mind was poured into the song. "Mama, I've just killed a man", "Life had just begun but now I'm gonna throw it all away". What could Freddie have used such harsh sentences for? Or "I don't want to die, sometimes wish I had never been born at all" Freddie didn't have AIDS when he wrote Bohemian Rhapsody, so it must have been a mental death that he was talking about.

"Spare him his life from this monstrosity" is the part in the song that everyone shouts at the same time as if it is a ritual, a praying. Well, which monstrosity? Or what about the last lyric; "Nothing really matters"?


I have to say, I like that they left us with a mystery and did not answer most of the things in the movie because if they did, then, there was no room left for us to admire Freddie Mercury and continue to think about him or create new theories about him and his music. But let's discuss one more thing before we decide whether the movie was a joke or a masterpiece. 

What Really Happened with Paul Prenter

His relationship with Paul Prenter was shown a little differently in the movie. Everything in the movie was Paul's fault. Because of him, Freddie both got the terrible disease and separated from everyone he loved. In reality, things were a little different. According to Bustle, they showed Paul Prenter as the villain of the movie. Of course, there was some truth to that; for example, Freddie fired Paul much later than Live Aid, in contrast to what happened in the movie. Another example, Paul actually outed Freddie and talked about the parties he had thrown on a magazine instead of on TV. But there is also the fact that Paul died of AIDS in the same year with Freddie, which of course somewhat supports the theory that the movie has created, because it is most likely that they contracted the disease in the same place.

Live Aid

The camera shots, the decors, the costumes and many more were really carefully chosen for the Live Aid concert. If you wonder what Live Aid is, it was a huge campaign in which the most famous musicians of the 80s joined and helped raising money to end the hunger in Ethiopia. With the technology of that period, the concerts were broadcasted on all the televisions at the same time in every country and a huge amount of money was able to be donated. Live Aid was the turning point and the finale of the movie. But, of course, there are still some huge factual inaccuracies in the Live Aid part of the movie as well.

To make the movie more dramatic and probably more marketable, they showed that Freddie Mercury had AIDS during the concert and he was in the late stages of it; but in reality, Freddie Mercury learned that he had AIDS in 1987. Live Aid happened exactly two years before that, in 1985. Therefore, there was no sign of AIDS in Freddie when he performed at Live Aid. Actually, believing he was able to perform this well at Live Aid while he was incredibly sick would be ridiculous. But combining the ending of the movie with his untimely death and the Live Aid concert, which is perhaps the most important event of his life, helped the director to end the movie at a very dramatic point. When I think about it from only a movie perspective, I think it was the right decision. But, when I was fact-checking, it irritated me a little.

Freddie Mercury at Live Aid concert vs Bohemian Rhapsody movie


Although this was a biopic, it was a movie nonetheless with a concern to be marketable. Overall, I think it was successful especially because I personally know at least 15 new fans of Queen who started to listen to their songs, learn many things about them and appreciate their talent. People all over the world had at least once heard of one of their songs like We will rock you or We are the Champions but most of them didn't know who made them. With Bohemian Rhapsody, they learned the band member's names and slightly about the members. But of course, for the old fans, the inaccuracies were disappointing. However, you should definitely look at side by side comparison of real Live Aid and the movie Live Aid. It was amazingly accurate and made me happy, here is the link: 

I should add that I think Rami Malek's performance was brilliant. He captured the essence of Freddie's witty personality so well.

What do you think? Was Bohemian Rhapsody movie successful or a joke? I can't personally say it was a masterpiece but I would really like to know your opinion, so comment down below.

You can also check out Top 10 Movies to Watch with Family

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