If you’re going to see the Freddie Mercury biopic this weekend, read this first

Bohemian Rhapsody without explicit decadence is like Patton without war scenes, Raging Bull without fight scenes, or Monster without all that serial killing. […]
To be fair, making a movie about Queen would be untenable for anybody. That’s why he was heroic. He was a gay icon who also ruled heavy-metal parking lots. Bohemian Rhapsody, the somewhat sanitized biopic of the life of frontman Freddie Mercury, opens wide today. Mercury did not live a PG-13 kind of life; he abhorred the very idea of a PG-13 kind of life. And he never acted as though any of this was strange or unexpected, which convinced his audience to also erase in their minds the artificial boundaries between genres and people. Distilling Queen down to fit a convenient biopic narrative, any narrative, inevitably leaves a whole lot out. He wrote the creamiest pop anthems and the nerdiest prog-rock tracks. I know this sounds like a diss, but you need to keep reading. This really is excellent for those who aren’t hardcore fans who want to know what to look for. He fought against against. Is there a more contradictory band in rock history? Freddie Mercury didn’t fight against this in order to establish that, the plot of every real-life hero’s story. It really does provide some excellent background information on Freddie and the band that will make the movie more relevant. He wore a unitard on stage and actually appeared dignified. Queen side-stepped every binary — gay and straight, masculine and feminine, good taste and bad taste, art and kitsch, rockist and poptimist, earnest and ironic, pretentious and self-deprecating, silly and profound, clever and stupid, metal and soft rock, funky and [rigid “We Will Rock You” clapping]. He adored Aretha Franklin and Luciano Pavarotti and Electric Ladyland. Engaging in R-rated mayhem (or NC-17, if we’re talking about the afterparty) was the whole point of being Freddie Mercury. How do you make a movie about the lead singer of Queen that’s PG-13? Before you head to the theatre, read this very well-written piece about Freddie and Queen on why they matter and where the movie goes off the reality rails just a tiny bit. He just kind of did … everything. He danced with regal ballets and in shady discos, and head-banged in a sea of mullets.
If you’re going to see the Freddie Mercury biopic this weekend, read this first