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YMMV / Bohemian Rhapsody

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  • Author's Saving Throw: After the teaser was criticized for glossing over Freddie Mercury's bisexuality aside from a Freeze-Frame Bonus, the trailer that followed makes it clear that it's part of the story.
  • Awesome Music: Goes without saying for a movie about Freddie Mercury and Queen.
  • Better on DVD: The theatrical cut dropped "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" and "We Will Rock You" from the Live Aid scene due to time limits, but their full, uncut scene is included in the home release as an extra.
  • Cliché Storm: Most of the criticism of the movie stems from the fact that it hits all of the common rock star biopic and music story tropes without doing anything new with them, right down to the "band breaks up and gets back together" part which didn't even happen in Real Life. Conversely, some reviewers praised it exactly for that same reason.
  • Critical Dissonance: While it was met a So Okay, It's Average response from critics feeling that the biopic elements were underdeveloped and predictable and that the pacing was off, with a 61% score on Rotten Tomatoes and a 49/100 score on Metacritic, it was much more favourably received by audiences for the combination of humor and the Awesome Music of the Queen library, got an 8.1 score on IMDb, and it took number one at the box office the weekend of its release at $50 million domestic and $146 million worldwide, making its budget back three times over in a mere four days. It ended up grossing over $900 million on a $55 million budget, and earned 5 Academy Award nominations, including Best Actor and Best Picture and won all except Best Picture.
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  • Ending Fatigue: The third act drags on a bit with the build-up to the Live Aid performance - which itself goes on for quite a while (near Real Time).
  • Fridge Brilliance: Saving "Radio Gaga" until after the reveal that Freddie has AIDS carries a degree of subtext. The song is all about not falling into obscurity, which as a rock star Freddie would probably fear more than actually dying. By playing it at Live Aid, he's refusing to "become a background noise" and that this will be his "finest hour".
  • Genius Bonus: Freddie gets especially rankled at Foster saying "Bismillah" is a meaningless nonsense word. It's actually Arabic for "In the name of God," and this is just more poking at the racist attitudes he's been dealing with his whole life.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff:
    • The film has garnered a huge following in Japan and South Korea, as in both countries it made even more money than it did in the UK, the band's home country. Its success in both countries has partially been attributed to the sing-along screenings it has, which even encourages people to come dressed up as Freddie Mercury and to get up and dance during the film.
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    • The movie was released late in Italy and yet managed to become 2018's most seen and highest grossing film there. To put that into perspective, in the UK, Queen's home country, the film was less succesful than Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, though the reason may be the many creative liberties taken with the band's story.
    • It was also big in Japan, and it's stayed in the top 5 for 10 weeks and has been grossing enough money to make the top 100 all-time films in Japan, beating movies such as Shin Godzilla and Yo-Kai Watch: The Movie. Like The Greatest Showman, it also got several cheering screenings.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • The sequence showing the Critical Dissonance the title song went through (audiences love it, professional critics not so much) matches the film's own reception quite well.
    • Overlapping with Heartwarming in Hindsight, a month after its premiere, "Bohemian Rhapsody" became the most-streamed song from the 20th century.
    • After this film portrayed John Reid as an honest and sincere man who gets screwed over by a manipulative, predatory co-worker who seduces their star into a destructive lifestyle, Dexter Fletcher's next project was the Elton John biopic Rocketman, which casts Reid himself in that role.
    • To add another level of hilarity to the point above - the honest and sincere John Reid of Bohemian Rhapsody is played by Aidan Gillen, known for portraying the manipulative and predatory Littlefinger on Game of Thrones. Then in Rocketman, the manipulative version of Reid is portrayed by Richard Madden, who is known for portraying righteous and honorable Robb Stark on that very same show.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Freddie himself is a troubled but ultimately good-hearted individual. Despite his moments of dickishness, he proves to be a team player and ends the film on a high note.
  • Just Here for Godzilla:
    • Even critics who didn't like the film praised Rami Malek's performance. Some say he's the only reason to watch it.
    • Some also say the film is worth watching just for the amazing Live Aid concert scene.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • "And this is where the operatic part comes in."Explanation 
    • This won the 2019 Academy Award for Best Editing.Explanation 
  • Moe: Freddie, Roger and Mary.
  • Narm:
    • For some reason the crew wasn't content with the perfectly fine in-joke of Mike Myers playing an executive who dislikes the title song (one of Myers' famous roles being somebody who likes the song in Wayne's World), so they drive it into the ground by actually having him say it'll never be something people bang their heads to while driving (the exact same thing Myers's character in Wayne's World does). The fact that the character Myers plays is entirely fictional and was created solely for the sake of this Casting Gag makes the joke feel especially desperate on the film's part. That being said, the sheer number of layers of pure dramatic irony in the statement (that Roger Taylor's now widely-forgotten song "I'm In Love With My Car" would make a better single since it's something kids can blast in their cars and bang their heads to while "Bohemian Rhapsody" would never be that - as claimed by Mike Myers) pushes it into Narm Charm for many.
    • Brian declaring out of absolutely nowhere "We need to get experimental" during a recording session, in what honestly sounds like the line was dubbed in the wrong place.
    • The camera ominously lingering on the "Men" sign as Freddie has a homosexual encounter in a bathroom. Thanks, never would've gotten the implication without that.
  • Never Live It Down: After John Ottman's Oscar win for editing the film, the scene where the band first meet John Reid got a lot of mockery for its pointlessly rapid editing, along with pointing out that the Academy apparently thought it was award-worthy. Even Ottman himself admitted he was quite embarrassed by it, and blamed the studio for forcing him to cut the scene that way. Especially noticeable is that whoever was directing at this point apparently failed to get a wide shot of all four band members, forcing Ottman to make do with one featuring Freddie, Roger, and John, plus another of Brian alone.
  • Nightmare Fuel:
    • Just the domestic abuse Paul puts Freddie in. It's not physical, but emotional and mental, showing that domestic abuse isn't just physical, we see Paul blackmailing, Gaslighting, and manipulating Freddie.
    • The conference scene being put in Freddie's perspective. We see how anxious Freddie was throughout the scene, and it's incredibly intense and unnerving. From the close zoom-ins to the member of Queen and the interviewers, with one of them repeating the same question over and over again.
  • Overshadowed by Controversy: The film has gone through quite a tumultuous cycle owing to the presence of Bryan Singer as director during the #MeToo era. Going into production, Singer was already contentious due to longstanding accusations of sexual abuse towards underage men long before the Harvey Weinstein affair exploded, with many raising questions about the baggage he would bring. During filming, Singer was noted for his many absences and abusive behavior that led to his firing, though he was still credited and financially compensated for his work under DGA rules. Things got worse when history was revisited in the wake of the film's financial success and awards season tour when an investigative article was released on his accusers the day after it received Oscar nominations. This led to an increased level of scrutiny towards the film being nominated for and winning awards in light of Singer's actions, leading to GLAAD and BAFTA withdrawing their nominations and Singer's career becoming radioactive. In particular, Rami Malek very noticeably avoided mentioning Singer during any of the numerous awards he won for the film (including the Golden Globes, leading the Globes to getting roasted on Twitter for rewarding Singer's work in their first post-MeToo voting), when the director is usually one of the first people thanked (which was seen as backpedaling from Malek himself, after an interview done before the investigative article in which Malek controversially implied that the spirit of Freddie Mercury himself may have chosen Singer as a director).
  • Periphery Demographic: In Japan, the movie was originally marketed for older Baby Boomers who grew up listening to their songs as they came out (and gave Queen the original Germans Love David Hasselhoff status they still enjoy to this day). However, when the movie came out, it turned out the younger moviegoers (particularly women) also were coming in droves alongside the OG Queen fans. Why? As Oriconnote  explains, this was likely due to their songs continuously being featured in commercials and TV shows even after Freddie died.
  • Signature Scene: The recreation of the iconic Live Aid concert is the most fondly remembered part of the film. Helping matters is how a lot of the songs weren't played at any earlier point in the film, so they stand out here and feel earned.
  • Strawman Has a Point: Ray Foster notably trashes the "Bohemian Rhapsody" song, and this scene shows him demanding that "I'm in Love With My Car" be the single. The thing is, Foster was completely right. Six minutes was too long for a radio single at the time, and while not as good, "I'm in Love With My Car" fit the standard format. Not helping matters is the last we see of him shows him watching the Live Aid performance, with the line "no time for losers" playing in the background, and that the film is basically demonizing him for doing his job.
  • Tear Jerker:
    • The scene where Paul outs Freddie on television and calls him a "scared little Paki boy".
    • The scene where Freddie tells the rest of the band that he has AIDS also counts.
  • Unfortunate Implications: Some reviews have accused the film of playing fast and loose with the facts of Mercury's life to construct a narrative that he was destroyed by his homosexual lifestyle and would have been fine if he'd just stuck with Mary Austin. Multiple crew members, including Rami Malek, made statements that this wasn't their intention and just a regrettable result of not having enough time to develop a more balanced depiction on top of all the other beats they wanted to hit. Other reviews object to the film's erasure of Mercury's bisexuality in favour of presenting him as a gay man (although there is debate on whether Mercury was gay or bisexual).
  • Win the Crowd: After the heavily-publicized Troubled Production, the first trailer got people excited about the film.


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