Bohemian Rhapsody has soared to over half a billion dollars at the worldwide box office. Fans love it. The critics, however, have accused it of trying to ignore or hide the more shocking parts of Freddie’s life. The film actually shows some drugs and sex at parties in London and Berlin as Freddie’s life spins out of control, but was it whitewashed? How accurate is Rami Maleks performance, really? Brian May reveals the truth about what really went on.
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May told Louder Sound: “It shows everything. Nobody thinks Freddie’s perfect, but he sure was unusual. You see it all. Not in a gratuitous way. It’s not meant to be messy and licentious, and I think that was a good decision.”
There have been criticisms that the film glossed over the uncomfortable and ugly truths of Freddie’s drug use and sexual exploits.
May hit back: “All that stuff is in there. But you don’t need to be revelling in scenes of debauchery. Not that Freddie was particularly debauched anyway. I know some people were looking for that. But no, it’s a film which portrays the truth, in a fairly gritty and honest but also entertaining way.”
The legendary guitarist and songwriter admitted he still struggles to watch the film.
May described his mixed feelings watching Freddie come to life on screen: “Joy and horror and sadness and all those big emotions. I’ve seen it hundreds of times now, in fragments and eventually coming together, and it still gets me, I must say.”
He pays tribute to how Malek breathed life into thw much-missed icon: “I love the way Rami has captured not only Freddie’s great powers and ebullience but also the sensitive side, the vulnerability of Freddie, of which there was a lot. He came from very small beginnings.”
Bandmate Roger Taylor added praise for Malek’s performance: “The speaking, the timbre, the tone of the whole range of his (Freddie’s) voice is pretty spot on.”
Malek revealed he trained for up to eight hours a day, studying old tapes and footage of Freddie, to get the voice and movement and as close to possible to the real thing. The fans and band themselves all agree he succeeded beyond all expectations.
BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY IS OUT NOW