Indian filmmaker Srinivas Reddy once made a movie based on the life of a revered late politician in his country. When making the film, he had to warn the audience that biopics are not easy to make. “They are very challenging and one needs some degree of cinematic liberty since they are based on someone else's life. Audiences are always ready to point out mistakes in these films, and therefore, you need the freedom to compromise on few things."
It's exactly what director Bryan Singer did to Bohemian Rhapsody, his biopic to the late Freddie Mercury. The filmmaker had to make some creative liberties in adapting Mercury’s wild and legendary life into the big screen. Even though the movie was a box office hit, and fans seemed to love every bit of it, some people just can’t help but point out some historical inaccuracies made by the movie. Here’s a few of the details that ‘Bohemian Rhapsody” got wrong.
How Freddie Mercury joined Queen
In “Bohemian Rhapsody”, we are told that Freddie Balsura – then still using his real name – approached future bandmates Brian May and Roger Taylor after hearing that their lead singer Tim Staffell had quit their band in April 1970. The film suggests that this is the first meeting between Mercury and the rest of the band. In reality, Mercury had been friends with May, Taylor and Staffell since 1969. In fact, Mercury got to know May and Taylor because of Staffell and they even got to live with each other once.
How Freddie met Mary Austin
The relationship between Mary Austin and the band is a bit complicated in real life. In the movie, we are told that Freddie and Mary first met each other on the same night he met the band. She then became Freddie’s longtime girlfriend. The truth is, it was Brian May who first dated Mary. In an interview with Yahoo! Entertainment last year May revealed that “Freddie came up to me one day and said, 'Are you serious with Mary? Can I ask her out?' And he did, and they were lovers for a long time." But just like the movie show, Freddie and Mary were really that close.
Queen’s performance at Live Aid
In 1985, Queen performed a legendary show at the Live Aid concert in Wembley Stadium, London. Despite what the movie tells us, their performance at that show wasn’t a reunion. “Bohemian Rhapsody” tells us that the band hasn’t been talking or playing music with each other for years before Live Aid. That’s hardly close to the truth. In fact, Queen’s last show together prior Live Aid was only 8 weeks before. They even recorded and released their record “The Works” just before Live Aid.
Freddie Mercury’s AIDS diagnosis
In the movie, Freddie Mercury informs his bandmates that he has been diagnosed with HIV just one week before going to Wembley Stadium to perform at Live Aid. However, according to Roger Taylor himself, the band wasn’t made aware of the diagnosis until four years later.