WARNING: I, like most critics, know very little about the facts. But if they get to spout off their unsolicited opinions, why can’t I?
Hi Hollywood, Liberals, and Silver Lake Hipsters,
I just watched Bohemian Rhapsody. And I loved it. I’m sorry. I did. It gave me chills and made my heart race to such an extent that I was compelled to write this blog at midnight because it couldn’t wait. It couldn’t wait because it reminded me what it meant to be an artist and I had almost forgotten.
I know. It’s not cool of me to like it. It’s definitely not intellectual. I should be wallowing in the horrors of life after watching Beautiful Boy or beating my chest in outrage after watching those Republicans f*$k shit up in Vice. I should be talking about how clever The Favourite was or pulling out my reading glasses to watch Roma. But I’m over it. This is SHOW BUSINESS and sometimes I just want a damn show.
Before I watched this movie I had heard many things. Mostly people saying, “I heard it’s not that good.” If I hadn’t been one of those people it would have been almost comical because it seemed that, in reality, no one had actually seen it. No one, with the exception of my father who had seen it three times but, as a retired surgeon from the Midwest, he couldn’t possibly have any real taste. (Stay with me dad, I’m being facetious and this whole article has your back.)
Anne Hornaday of the Washington Post wrote, “‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ is a bad movie. But boy, is it entertaining.” And this was one of the nicer reviews. I have a question though, what’s wrong with a movie being entertaining?
I’m sure there were a lot of problems with the film. I’m sure facts were wrong. I’m sure there was a lot of fluff. And to be honest, I don’t know much about Freddie Mercury or Queen. But what I got from the movie was that here was someone different, someone who didn’t have perfect looks, who didn’t fit in to societal norms, who had a vision and wasn’t afraid to go after it. He said screw the critics, this is who I am. That’s pretty awesome. So who cares if the script wasn’t a cinematic masterpiece? Queen wasn’t a bunch of writers, they were musicians. And in this movie the music soared. It made someone like me, who wasn’t much of a Queen fan, immediately order a record. It also made me not afraid to speak my opinion, even if it wasn’t cool or politically correct. It made me want to write. And isn’t that what good art is supposed to do?
Hollywood, nowadays you are afraid to take chances. You only work with those ten or twelve names to sell tickets. You make remake upon remake instead of trying something new. Every awards season there is the predictability of angsty movies where some teenager is misunderstood (sorry Lady Bird but I lived that high school experience and no one wanted to watch it then, not even me), some political figure is resurrected (Jackie, Vice I’m talking about you), or some fairy tale about LA is told because we wish it were true (I’m sorry but, to me, La La Land was more inauthentic to reality than Bohemian Rhapsody could ever be).
So when something comes out that makes us feel just plain good, why is it discredited? I don’t know about you, but I went into theater because it made my heart race and my soul boogie. And for the two hours or so that I watched Bohemian Rhapsody it did just that. I’m not saying heavier movies can’t be amazing. Birdman and Black Swan are some of my favorites. They took risks. Me, Earl, and the Dying Girl to this day is one of my favorites, though, coincidentally, it was a big, huge box office flop. What I am saying is that sometimes, Hollywood, a movie is just meant to inspire and entertain, and that’s OK.
I’m sure people will have all kinds of opinions about what I just wrote. I’m sure I’m wrong about a lot and Freddie Mercury was a real prick. But in the last twenty minutes of this movie, watching Rami Malek bring him to life, even for just a moment, brought something alive in me. Which, I think, was the point. Queen brought something alive in millions of people. The movie closed with the song “We are the Champions” and I have to echo the sentiment. To me, all you pretentious Hollywood types, Bohemian Rhapsody was truly the champion… of the world.
A little girl who used to really love dress up.