Although the Freddie Mercury and Queen musical biopic Bohemian Rhapsody has only been out in the world for a hot minute, the movie has already managed to cement itself as one of the most famous and beloved music biographies ever made. But when it comes to an icon like Freddie Mercury, no one would have expected anything less.
Bohemian Rhapsody has won over the hearts and minds of Queen fans and casual viewers alike, and the movie manages to make Freddie Mercury's admittedly adventure-filled and unique life into a very compelling film narrative. When it comes to creating a film that tells the story of Queen while respecting the real people that the film is based around, it's hard to level any criticism towards Bohemian Rhapsody, but like any movie, not everything about it is perfect.
There are plenty of things that make no sense about Bohemian Rhapsody, primarily when it comes to alterations to the timeline that seem rather pointless, and here are the 10 most glaring examples.
10 The Song Timeline Is Way Off
When creating a behind the scenes dramatized version of the story of a world-famous band, it's understandable that the producers would like to incorporate all of the band's most famous and recognizable songs into the film. After all, that's one of the biggest reasons audiences want to see the movie in the first place, right?
But when it comes to Queen and the live performances that are portrayed in the movie Bohemian Rhapsody, the songs are all over the place in terms of timing. In order to squeeze in as many recognizable tunes as possible, oftentimes Queen is shown playing songs up to a decade before they were actually released.
9 Paul Prenter Lasted With Freddie A Lot Longer Than That
Once a band or musical artist blows up in the way that Queen and Freddie Mercury did, it's natural that they'll attract leeches. In Bohemian Rhapsody, no one is portrayed as a bigger leech on Freddie Mercury's life than his supposed manager, Paul Prenter.
After using Freddie for nearly their entire relationship, Freddie is portrayed as finally seeing the light, realizing how toxic Paul was before kicking him to the curb. However, in Freddie's real-life, his business and personal relationship with Prenter lasted much longer, in fact, he didn't cut Prenter off until 1986, the year after Live Aid.
8 The U.S. Didn't Understand The Coronation Street Connection
In Queen's music video for "I Want To Break Free," the band appears in drag. In the movie, the failure and negative reaction towards the video in the US in contrast with its popularity in the UK is portrayed as America's negative reaction towards a bunch of men appearing in drag during a more conservative time.
However, the reason behind that is a little more complex. Coronation Street is one of the longest-running soap operas in the UK (which is still on the air today in fact) and the video is a clear parody of the show. Understandably, people in the UK got the reference while the US did not.
7 Anachronistic Extras
Whenever a period film is being made, avoiding anachronisms is a nearly impossible task. Unfortunately, this typical issue for period pieces was also a very obvious problem for Bohemian Rhapsody. There are a lot of small details in the props that don't fit at all within the appropriate time period, but the clearest and easiest to notice anachronisms are mostly related to the film's extras.
A lot of the logos on the clothing and accessories were designs that didn't exist in the time period, and in some extreme cases, there are clearly visible clothing logos that weren't released until a few years ago.
6 And Anachronistic Props
Now, this might seem picky to the average viewer, but the anachronisms concerning the props in Bohemian Rhapsody might be even worse than the clothing anachronisms. There are a lot of noticeable props within the film that didn't exist in the time period being portrayed.
This movie is clearly aimed towards music fans, so it wasn't a surprise when a lot of eagle-eyed viewers noticed that quite a few of the equipment being used by the band throughout the film was either incorrect or was something that didn't even exist at the time that the movie was taking place. Not something non-musicians will probably notice, but still could have been avoided.
5 Freddie's Addition To The Band
In Bohemian Rhapsody, it appears that the formation of Queen is just meant to be. Just as the band's lead singer is quitting, Freddie approaches the remaining members and asks if they're looking for a replacement. Initially, the other band members balk, but Freddie gives them a sample of his exceptional singing skills and they understandably change their mind.
However, the reality of Freddie's addition to the band was quite different. Apparently, he was a fan of the musicians for quite a while before joining the band, and he had asked to join many times prior, but the other bandmates only relented when they needed a new lead singer.
4 Live Aid Wanted Them, Not The Other Way Around
Queen's performance at Live Aid not only became their hands down the most memorable live performance of all time, but it is also regarded as one of the best live performances of any band in history. However, the movie Bohemian Rhapsody portrays the situation as Queen trying very hard to get on the roster of bands playing at Live Aid when the reality was kind of the opposite.
Bob Geldof, the organizer of the event, announced that Live Aid was happening and was especially interested in having Queen perform, but the band was hesitant to accept due to just coming off a pretty lengthy tour. The band needed a minute but eventually embraced the opportunity. Bohemian Rhapsody went with a different approach, one largely steeped in fiction.
3 Freddie Wasn't Diagnosed By The Time Of Live Aid
Although movies like Bohemian Rhapsody are obviously meant to be biographical accounts of real people and musicians, it's still a dramatized and fictionalized version of reality. Every movie needs a climax, so ending Bohemian Rhapsody on Queen's most iconic performance of all time was a pretty clear and natural conclusion point for the story.
Despite the fact that, in the film, Freddie Mercury breaks the news to the band shortly before they go on stage; in reality, he was still years away from being diagnosed with AIDS. Live Aid took place in 1985, but Freddie Mercury was not diagnosed with AIDS until 1987.
2 Queen Was Never Really Separated
As Bohemian Rhapsody progresses, the film portrays the situation between the band as continually deteriorating, almost to the point where it appears that the band might break up. Prior to the Live Aid performance, it's stated that the band hasn't been together for years and they're essentially dinosaurs in the music industry.
While Live Aid did revitalize their somewhat fading popularity, the band had been recording and performing consistently together for the entirety of the early '80s. Live Aid took place in 1985, and Queen had recorded albums in both 1982 and 1984, so they had been working together very recently before their most famous performance. Mercury did release a solo album, "Mr. Bad Guy, in 1985, but he was hardly the first Queen member to go solo. Roger Taylor released two in the early '80s! Yet, Bohemian Rhapsody made it seem like Mercury going solo meant the end was close for the band. Why?
1 Freddie Was Never Out To His Parents
Right now, Freddie Mercury is regarded as one of the most famous and beloved LGBTQ icons in history, so it's strange to realize that he spent so much of his life in the closet. As he got older and the world got less judgmental, Freddie was more and more open about his personal life; however, Bohemian Rhapsody incorrectly implies that Freddie became open about his relationship with Jim Hutton in front of his parents.
Mercury was open about his relationship to the public, but his parents were strict adherents to the Zoroastrian faith, so Freddie never actually opened up to his parents about it.