Four Oscars and $870million in the bank. Bohemian Rhapsody is doing just fine, thank you very much. However, things looked very different when the first trailer landed late last summer. Just as had happened so many times when Queen were releasing their bombastic catalogue of hits, the critics sharpened their knives and everybody had an opinion why the film was a failure and, even worse, failed to do Freddie’s memory justice. Brain May bit his tongue through much of it but has delivered one last punishing blow to the “vindictive sickness” which has shadowed the movie and popular culture.
Bohemian Rhapsody has just topped the home entertainment charts for the second successive week, leading the closest rival A Star Is Born by 30,000 units.
The public have embraced the movie, but May has also expressed concerns with the negative attitudes which poison so much of social media and public commentaries.
He said on Instagram: “I was, and I am, deeply grateful for our Freddie film being recognised in a way we never had the audacity to expect. But I found the public activity behind the whole awards season, and the behaviour of the media writers surrounding it, deeply disturbing.”
“If you look at the Press and Internet discussions that took place over the last few months, you can see that 90% of it is aimed at discrediting one or other, or all of the nominated films by innuendo and smears, rather than discussing their merits and admiring the skills that went into making them.
“Vitriol and dishonesty, and blatant attempts to shame and influence the members into voting the way they, in their arrogance required them to.
“It’s not the fault of the awards panels – they stood up well. It’s a kind of vindictive sickness that seems to have gripped public life.”
On a happier note, May also revealed that one of the organisers of The 2019 Oscars came to him after the show to praise Queen and Adam Lambert’s staggering opening number.
May wrote: “The head of local production came up to me and shook my hand as we left the auditorium. He said, ‘I’ve been doing the Oscars for 40 years, and that was the best opening we ever had!’ A lovely moment.”
BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY IS OUT NOW ON DIGITAL AND DOWNLOAD, DVD AND BLU-RAY