Bohemian Rhapsody was perhaps one of the most unexpected breakout hits of 2018. Originally helmed by Bryan Singer, the film received fire from those who condemned the director’s acts and controversial criminal downfall. However, rather than letting the film fall away from the studios, Dexter Fletcher was hired to take over Singer’s directorial duties and save the film from facing down demise. It’s still debated how much input Fletcher had over the final product; nevertheless, it arrived and Bohemian Rhapsody is yet to fade away.
Despite underwhelming critical reviews, it went on to become one of the most financially successful films of the year and audiences heralded it as a fitting tribute to the legendary Queen frontman, Freddie Mercury. As most have agreed, Rami Malek‘s central performance is the film’s crown jewel and won him the Oscar for Best Actor at the 91st Academy Awards. Overall, the film secured three more accolades on the evening; Film Editing, Sound Mixing and Sound Editing. In the lead up to its release, nobody could have predicted that it would go on to become a four-time Oscar winner and one of the most notable audience successes of recent years. Yet, that’s exactly what has happened.
Although a colossal hit with general audiences, critics and a number of die-hard Queen devotees have attempted to argue in disfavour of the film’s narrative approach. It has been accused of glancing over Mercury’s sexuality, excluding details at the request of band members and of offering audiences a paint-by-numbers depiction of one of music’s most celebrated and enigmatic icons. Clearly, the accessibility of the film has led to its financial and wide-scale success, but there are always going to be those who want something more insightful than something like Bohemian Rhapsody. Will they get it?
It was reported by Screen Rant that Queen’s music-video director Rudi Dolezal disclosed that a sequel to the film was being heavily discussed by figures involved. Many flocked to social media to share their divisive thoughts, as it was believed the sequel would follow on from the Live Aid concert. Would this offer the insight Mercury fans wanted from the first film? Or, would it simply disgrace the frontman’s legacy as an unwarranted cash-grab? It was initially uncertain, but Graham King – Bohemian Rhapsody‘s producer – has since confirmed that reports of a sequel are false.
As expected, some are happy and others are disappointed in the wake of this update. Malek did such a fantastic job that audiences would be more than happy to see him depict Mercury for another feature-length effort. On the other hand, there are those who feel that a sequel would be disrespectful, and – in the wake of the first film’s conclusion – a clear effort to cash in on this sudden Queen resurgence. For detractors of Bohemian Rhapsody, this latest news perhaps confirms that this is it. Those dissatisfied will just have to accept that this is the portrait of Freddie Mercury that the majority will be flocking to for years to come. They’ll just have to continue wishing that the film had never been born at all.
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