I Am a Gay Man, and I Liked Bohemian Rhapsody

Comments

1

Biopics almost always suck because their subjects tend to be complex and interesting people and their lives are heavily sanitized (often at the behest of the subject or their estate) and collapsed down to a couple hours. I would rather watch a documentary.

2

I don't care whether or not it was "good", it was a helluva lot of fun. And all that Queen music. And Rami Malek having the time of his life doing Mercury. And all that Queen music.

3

Gays hate this movie for the same reasons Motley Crue were offended by "This is Spinal Tap."

4

Everyone I know loved this movie (vs everyone who reviewed it...)

5

Sophisticated modern audiences always want more AIDS for their entertainment dollar.

6

I’m with you Christopher, in regard to the movie not being a gay man. What a lot of belly aching over a flamin’ movie. So glad Malik won best actor award because he was brilliant and showed Freddie to be human.
And everywhere you look the punters loved it.

7

I had fun watching it with a largely LGBTQ+ crowd. It was a fun movie with fun music. Most of the criticisms I've read could be applied to every biopic. News flash, they consolidate people and events to make a punchier story.

8

I go to movies to get away from politics and media sensationalism. If I wanted those I'd just turn on any news channel at home.

9

I’m sure it wasn’t poop level bad, but I think the bigger question here is do you honestly think it was better than almost all of those other films nominated? Not even close .... not if you want to go with critical reviews OR with audience reviews. It was a bought GG.

10

Havnt seen movie yet, but your depiction of the movie sounds like was made in 1950s. I’m 49 and me and friends all liked Rock and R&B and of course the AIDS scare was worse in early years. Medical ignorance’s, not human. I thought I contracted AIDS after every relationship :). Your review of the time sounds like every retired athlete. “In my day”. Yes we’re gay jokes and not as tolerant, but then. That’s a given with every generation. But the dude was respected by everyone! Gay or not! More jokes about his teeth then sex life. Your making the exact argument your trying to spin. No, we didn’t know Freddy’s world! Didnt even know if had, till heard passed on radio. Gay sex or AIDS, don’t want that, but wanna know how Freddy really was. Not a guy in a repressed time, like you make it sound. If he died today. Would want the movie about his private life, would that be less important today? No! Want to know who Freddy was. If movie shows that? Then great, but your review made excuses for liking it. My crappy Lions, Jimmy “Spider-Man” Allen and players made version “another one bites the dust” in 1980 after good start. Your review sounds very young.

11

I don’t care about it’s politics or accuracy (although that whole “Freddie was led astray” narrative was massively dishonest), I just thought it was a crashing bore. How do you create boredom from Freddie Mercury's life? It's impossible, but they found a way. Malek tries to liven it up, but during that relentlessly banal 30 minutes or so leading up to LiveAid, all I could think about were his prosthetic teeth. The only escape from tedium is the music, but even a deaf chimpanzee couldn't screw that up.

12

Best movie we've seen in years,
found it very moving,
and Malek was incredible.

14

Also liked the movie, as did my boyfriend, my gay brother and his husband.

Who was in tears by the end.

My brother had seen Queen in their first performance in the US -- when they were opening for Mott the Google.

Without any fanfare ahead of time, he and his friends were blown away ( so to speak) by Mercury.

My boyfriend attends current Queen performances, and he and I sang along to the film, with the rest of the audience.

Screw you, haters.

15

Nice burn! I'm so beyond weary of reviews such as Burns' that pontificate on the work they think should have been made instead of addressing the one that was, I near categorically dismiss the critic as illiterate not only in their subject matter but criticism itself.

16

Hooray for Mott the Google!

17

I haven’t seen the other movies nominated, not being obsessed by movie going. Do not want to watch Bradley Cooper suddenly becoming a film making genius. The beauty of Malek is he brought a warmth to Freddie, an authenticity.
Freddie as I understand it, was a bi man, he may have stopped having sex with women he was still attached to his ex wife and left her most of his estate. So all the gay men claiming ownership need to back off.

18

Well rebutted, and I mostly agree. Now, can we talk about how totally shit the Golden Globe-winning song from A Star is Born is?

19

"Thank god it wasn't all about AIDS" - Amen Brother!

As a gay man of a certain age, an age wherein I became sexually aware to the back drop of Mercury and Hudson's deaths and the absolute terror of the epidemic in its earliest years. An age wherein I became sexually active well before HAART, when AIDs was always a death sentence. An age and a place wherein being a gay man meant two probably inevitable facts: 1. we would lose all of our friends and family (somehow I didn't), and 2. we would die an emaciated, painful death from AIDs (somehow I haven't), both "facts" I consciously owned and embraced in coming out at the end of my teens because not doing so, and avoiding those fates, would have been worse than embracing them.

I can only assume that Chase lacks the perspective to be able to understanding that for many of us of a certain age that knew and felt Mercury as a presence and force, not simply a historic figure that contributed a chapter, written in hindsight, to the volume ending with the safety and entitlement gay men of a different age enjoyed as they became self aware, that to those men who survived it, AIDs, and movies, books and art about AIDs, has no entertainment value. None at all. It's too close. To real. Still to terrifying.

Only a gay man that came out into a world of HAART and PrEP and gay marriage could even contemplate regarding the lack of AIDs in their entertainment as anything other than a relief. Only they could regard it as entertaining nostalgia.

Chase would do well to contemplate his costly privilege in the context of the terrors that came before, but do so in venues that don't sell popcorn and soda pop to munch and slurp while he does so.

20

Mott The HOOPLE

21

How many gay celebrities in the 70s and 80s wanted to be known as gay men? George Michael was in the closet until a bathroom tryst forced him out, and he sang with Queen at the Freddy Mercury tribute performance while he himself was closeted. Now, look at his final movie which was all about AIDS (which he did not contract) and his sexuality during the time of homophobia.

FFS, Frizzelle, Queen played to very hetero audiences who would have burned their albums had they figured it out at the time. One only has to look at Rob Halford, and his accidental coming out in 1998 to judge it accurately. At the time, he was in a side project called 2wo with John 5 and they broke it off after.

Only a naive git would think that Mercury was in the closet because he wanted to be seen as an artist. He even stated that he didn’t come out as having AIDS to protect those around him (which would include the rest of the Queen band members). Halford even addressed this after he came out, “The thing about gay people is that until we come out of the closet, we're always protecting other people: 'I can't do this, because it's gonna hurt so-and-so.‘“

Whether or not the movie is good or entertaining is one thing, but let’s not rewrite history from the basis of your own 2018 privilege to justify your own pleasure. To be fair, I dunno if the movie addresses these points as I have not seen the movie (and so I could not tell you whether the movie was good or bad), but judging from both your and Chase’s reviews, it does not seem to think about this at all.

22

You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me:

Hey man, I feel your pain I came up in that era too, but I'm not buying this - you don't toss out so aggressively accusatory an accusation of "privilege" over a disagreement about popcorn flick. Its cheap, unkind, trivializing of the whole notion and very much missing the point, of Chase's argument anyway.

And speaking of privilege, what do you call the demand that your desires for Mercury's legacy are more important than his own, which it seems were quite clear that he NOT be remembered as an AIDS icon, or an icon of any kind other musical (if I recall it was Brian Mays insistence on this that was the point of conflict with Cohen)? The man was a singer, not Roy Cohn for Petes sake, a magnificent one to be sure but let's be real Queen weren't exactly the Beatles, or even ABBA.

Save it for when it matters.

23

chase never complained that this movie doesn’t have enough AIDS (at least not in his review)

24

@22 “it seems were quite clear that he NOT be remembered as an AIDS icon,”

Do tell.

25

@22
“My desires” for Mercury’s legacy end with his music and persona as he presented both. I consider his sexuality and death to the same degree that I consider the sexuality and death of other great singers and musicians that died too soon. And that’s a long tragic list. The life he led publicly, and the art he made, had seemingly little to do with his sexuality and certainly nothing to do with his disease.

Maybe I misread Chase’s argument, but it sounded like his dissatisfaction with the movie hinged on the fact that it didn’t focus on his sexuality and death to Chase’s satisfaction, and was therefore a “heinous” movie.

It would seem reasonable minds disagree with that assessment.

But I do stand by my opinion that it speaks to an amount of privilege to lament that a popcorn move about a band like Queen isn’t Angels In America and I wonder if this younger generation is even capable of understanding why it would be cheap, unkind, and trivializing if it were.

But the real intent of my post was to agree with Christopher: “Thank God it wasn’t all about AIDs”

26

It sounded boring. I skipped it.

27

Yesyesyesyes! Thank you!!

28

"complicatedness?" It seem the Stranger's proofreading staff is not fettered by prescriptivism, or any similar complexities.

Also, the Gold Standard of shit-crit originated with Johnny Mercer's "I could eat a bowl of alphabet soup and shit better lyrics than that."

29

Not everyone thinks that people's sexuality is always the most interesting thing about them, or the center of their very being.

Maybe the makers of the film thought that the creation and performance of his art was more important to his life than what kind of people he liked to fuck.

30

Sexuality isn’t just about who you fuck. He was a famous gay man in the closet at a time when being out could have destroyed his career. The tension that caused in his personal life would make for a more interesting story, though it’s admittedly not exactly fodder for a big budget hagiography.

31

I'm a gay man and haven't seen it yet so can offer no opinion. I can, however, give a big STFU to Chase and all the whiney bitches crying about lack of representation.

32

My extreme disappointment in the movie had nothing to do with AIDS. It was because the movie was so inaccurate regarding just about every single important detail of the band, that.. why bother? Why not just make up a completely fictional band if you're going to change EVERYTHING to make your movie "better".

https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-news/freddie-mercury-queen-biopic-bohemian-rhapsody-movie-fact-check-746195/

33

Thanks for this rebuttal. I loved BoRhap, and so did many others - gay, straight, in between; all united by a love for Queen’s music.

Sure it would’ve been interesting to see a film about Freddie’s wild side, but the people in the production who knew him best - Brian May, Roger Taylor and Miami - decided to make the film PG 13. I’ve no problem with it given how many people it’s resonated with.

The reviews I read, that stayed with me, were from kids at Common Sense Media, and by a closeted gay man in Pakistan.

The kids wrote very sensible reviews, they understood the themes, and what’s more, they got into good discussions with their parents about being gay in the 80s. A new generation of 13-15 year olds learned to love Queen through this film. I wouldn’t be surprised if it influences them in a positive way, whether to embrace their true selves, to make wiser choices, or even to create a rock band that makes memorable music (and not the mostly personality based entertainment we have today).

The Pakistan reviewer - who, by the way, went anonymous - said he was surprised it was shown at all (given that other countries not recognising homosexuality, such as Malaysia and China, didn’t). A few gay scenes were allowed to stay in. At the end of it he sat in tears, in solidarity with this gay icon, who couldn’t reveal who he was, but who didn’t let it stop him from doing what he liked.

Sacrificing a few R rated scenes is worth it, given how many people of different races and age groups were reached by the movie. The pakistan review is also a stark reminder that in other parts of the world, the attitude towards homosexuality is still very much as it was in Mercury’s day.

This movie polarised the viewers and most critics, but that’s how Freddie was. And I think that’s the way he would have liked it. He always played for the audience, not the critics.