One issue that has dogged the upcoming Queen biopic “Bohemian Rhapsody” has been a question of authenticity. There’s no way to discuss the legacy of the band without touching upon its late frontman’s sexuality and his death due to complications resulting from AIDS.
Indeed when Sacha Baron Cohen was originally going to star in the project, it was on the proviso it would be a ‘warts and all’ style biopic which wouldn’t shy away from those elements – and his departure due to creative differences suggested the film would gloss over it.
20th Century Fox didn’t help itself when the first trailer released for the film seemed to ignore it completely, leading to numerous complaints – with a second trailer in July at least hinting at both aspects. Now actor Rami Malek, who plays Mercury in the film, has slammed the criticisms in a new interview with Attitude magazine saying it’s a shame people are pre-judging the film based on the trailers:
“It’s difficult. First, let me say that I don’t think the film shies away from his sexuality or his all-consuming disease, which is obviously AIDS. I don’t know how you could avoid any of that, or if anyone would ever want to. It’s a bit absurd that anyone’s judging this from a minute trailer.
You can’t shy away from it. It was an important moment to have in the film, one that ultimately is very sad but also empowering in a way. It shows you just how resilient human beings can be and how much we rely on the strength of our friends and family to get us through tough times.
This pandemic is still very much a horrific threat to so many people in the world. It exists as a reality for so many that I think it would be a shame not to address it.”
The film reportedly ends with the high of the Live Aid concert in 1985, long before Mercury’s suffering and passing six years later in 1991 or even his official diagnosis in April 1987. “Bohemian Rhapsody” releases in cinemas worldwide in November.