It has been eight days since the Bohemian Rhapsody trailer went online (the one from 20th Century Fox's Youtube account has 11,597,185 as I'm writing this, and I think it's safe to say that I've made a significant contribution to that number so far.
The day the film is finally in theaters cannot come soon enough for some of us, as evidenced by people posting wonderful trailer reactions (Sally's, and James', and Cam Deacon's (John's youngest son!!) being my favorites - but you should also check out the rest of their videos because they're awesome) but the 1:30 we've all seen so far has resulted in a couple shit storms as well. I'm doing my very best to avoid or at least greatly limit my exposure because November is six whole months away and I'm not interested in speeding up the process of my hair going gray, but I find myself getting pulled in anyway.
(I don't have a problem with having gray hairs, I just don't need to rush that process when I'm not even 32 yet)
Bryan Fuller, an American television producer, has decided that the film is straight-washing Freddie and completely ignoring the AIDS crisis solely based on that 1:30. I was prepared look into it to see if he had a valid point despite my disagreement with those assessments, but his words hold absolutely no weight with me. At all.
HE DOESN'T KNOW WHO MARY AUSTIN IS BUT FEELS LIKE HE KNOWS WHAT HE'S TALKING ABOUT! THAT'S DAY 1 TRIVIA!
ETA - And there's also that shot at 0:32 of what looks like Freddie in the studio with a guy getting really up in Freddie's space (I'm not sure if that's supposed to be Paul Prenter,
as they didn't meet until '77 and this shot looks like '75, but it looks like Allen Leech, who's playing Prenter, so maybe artistic licensing?). I can't usually tell when a guy is cruising me, but this is definitely not just queerbaiting (showing something in a promo that's intended to look queer to drive up interest and viewership, but then it's not actually queer at all in the context of the rest of that scene, and queer people have gotten their hopes up for nothing). Dude is coming ON to Freddie! But that's an easy clip to miss when you're too busy throwing a tantrum to pay attention.
The cast list on IMDB also shows a number of (not necessarily all!) men Freddie will no doubt fuck around with, or try to fuck around with. The jury's out, though, if that includes the guys credited as "Meat Packer One" and "NYC Meatpacker" because I'm honestly not sure if that's a euphemism or not! ... I'm also thinking "NY Clubber/Former Lover to Freddie" is supposed to be Thor Arnold.
(Side note: the question of erasing Freddie's sexual orientation is resulting in a really interesting and much needed discussion on gay/bi-erasure in general, compulsory heterosexuality, and queer history on Tumblr, so there's a silver lining in breaking down what those things mean, but the knee-jerk blowing up without a clue will never not be frustrating all the same.)
And as for "ignoring AIDS":
Freddie manages to reunite with his bandmates just in time for Live Aid – the biggest concert in history. But fate and past behaviors throw a devastating obstacle at him, one that forces him to confront then accept his own mortality. Pulling himself up from personal strife one more time to overcome the odds, the band puts on one of the greatest performances in the history of rock music. Queen cements a legacy that continues to inspire outsiders, dreamers and music lovers to this day. On Freddie’s terms, not the rest of the world’s. - excerpt from Queen Online's Bohemian Rhapsody page
There is a part of me bummed that the movie won't at least go up to the release of Made In Heaven, but I know in my heart that it cinematically makes sense to stop at Live Aid if you have to pick a stopping place sooner than what we're used to seeing in documentaries like Champions Of The World, The Untold Story, Days Of Our Lives, and The Great Pretender. And I also know that biopics tend to always have a text epilogue at the end just before the credits roll, and I'm sure that text will cover the highlights.
I kind of feel like even the Days Of Our Lives documentary glosses over a bit past Hot Space before focusing a bit on Wembley and Knebworth in 1986, and then glossing again a bit before delving into Innuendo, then the tribute concert, then glosses up to Made In Heaven... etc. etc. And while that specific period had a lot going on for all of the guys individually, I could see that not really translating well to film. Also, Brian's life in particular was a pretty big mess around that time (first marriage ended, his dad had died, Freddie was dying/did die, Cozy Powell died, and he struggled in a big way with his mental health and we almost lost him) and I wouldn't blame him for not wanting to revisit that period.
But anyway! I'm still excited for the film, with the full awareness that artistic licensing will be utilized just like any other film based (key word) on a true story. I've asked a number of my friends to save the date for the theatrical release so we can all go together, and I'm especially excited to see how Rami moves as Freddie in further detail on and off stage (a LOT is resting on his movement coach, Polly Bennet). Being straight, can he play gay well enough to convince me that he doesn't need to try too hard? Will he and Aaron McCusker have good chemistry? Another question I have is, "Who the hell is playing Phoebe?" because Google is failing me. He'd better be in the film, as he's definitely consulted.