Jeff Pearlman

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I liked Bohemian Rhapsody. But …

Screen Shot 2019-02-18 at 12.15.22 AM

Finally saw “Bohemian Rhapsody” today. Liked it a lot. Thought the musical scenes will brilliant. Got chills re-living one of the pivotal moment of my childhood, “Live Aid.” Would not be even slightly disappointed to see Rami Malek win an Oscar for his portrayal of Freddie Mercury.

However …

There is a liberty that bothers me. Like, really bothers me. In the film, Mercury is diagnosed with AIDS just before Live Aid, and tells his three bandmates in the leadup to the gig. This, of course, adds loads of drama; makes each song all the more impactful; causes the moviegoer to observe Mercury belting out note after note and imagine what, inside, he must have been thinking.

Well, that was bullshit.

Freddie Mercury was diagnosed in 1987—two years after Live Aid. And this drives me to drink, because it’s actually a legitimately important timeline, destroyed because some screen writer or producer or director thought presenting a jarring mis-truth was more important than honesty, integrity.

I know … I know. It’s just a movie. I get it.

But it irks me.

  • Sanford Sklansky

    There were plenty of other liberties taken with the movie. A radio host who I listen to on WGN in Chicagoy is also a movie critic. He interviews movies on Monday mornings (over night) with two other critics. They all hated the movie and the radio host put it on his worst movie list.

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Once again, Jeff Pearlman has produced an exhaustively researched, elegantly written book that re-creates one of the most colorful and memorable teams of the modern era. No basketball fan's bookshelf will be complete without it.

— Seth Davis, author of Wooden: A Coach's Life