Four years later but I finally watched the 2018 movie Bohemian Rhapsody which is said to be a biopic of the life of the famous Freddie Mercury. As I had known he was the crooner of the band ‘Queen’, I was quite interested in the story since its release. Well, after I watched it, though there are many speculations and alternate theories around the internet about his life, I must say that there is a lot to learn from Freddie Mercury (as portrayed in the movie).
Despite Freddie’s buck teeth look, he was one of the most popular singers of all time. People loved him, they loved his songs and they loved the messages that he brought out through his singing. So, the next time we see someone with a not-so-perfect face, we should try not to be rude or ridicule them for it. They may become a celebrity someday! Lesson number 1.
Freddie was unique, eccentric, confident, creative and bold. He thought outside the box and that is how the song ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ was born. It was a six-minute long song put together with various instrument solos, voices and uniqueness. It was on top of the charts for 9 weeks straight. 30 years later, it is still one of the greatest songs ever made though no one seems to completely understand it. Lesson 2: People will notice you only when you think outside the box.
While at the peak of his career, Freddie tried to host unusual parties and invite well-known people from the industry, but that did not make him happy. When Mary Austin asked him to come home, he realised that the people who were around him all the time weren’t his friends and did not love him. They were only there to have fun and be around a celebrity. Lesson 3: Don’t mistake smiling faces to be loving faces.
Though they were a huge sensation, Freddie insisted that they participate in Live Aid – A worldwide rock concert organized for the relief of famine-struck people in Africa. Lesson 4: Give to charity with all your heart. When we do things for charity, it gives us a different feeling than the one we feel with power or prosperity.
As humans, there are several temptations around us. When we become well-known humans, there are even more temptations that look us straight in the eye. It is our choice to resist or succumb to these temptations. In the blindness of fame, Freddie succumbed to a few temptations that he could have avoided. Also, Paul Prenter, Freddie’s former manager, personal assistant and sexual partner was the disloyal Judas who was leading Freddie the wrong way and leaked a lot of photos, information and more for money. He also kept his loved ones at bay. Finally, Paul was fired by Freddie. Lesson 5: We should be aware of the temptations and snakes around us and get rid of them as soon as possible.
It is so important to be, love and care for ourselves in order to be content in life. Even though Freddie felt that he was born to perform, he still did not seem to take care of or like himself. Jim Hutton asks Freddie to find him (Jim) when he decides to like himself. Lesson 6: It is not only vital to be ourselves, but we must like, love and take care of ourselves, too.
The way Freddie loved Mary Austin despite his homosexual desires makes us realize that true love and sex can be two completely different feelings. It is not necessary that you love the one you’re sleeping with though I believe that you shouldn’t encourage sleeping with those you are not in love with. Lesson 7: If your partner claims to love you by making love to you against your will, maybe you can ask him/her to watch this movie? For inspiration? 😉
Though Freddie learnt about his illness, he preferred to continue spreading acceptance through his music rather than become a poster boy for AIDS. Even though his face was deteriorating, he continued to make music. Lesson 8: There is a possibility to spread love, smiles and positive vibes despite the pain we are going through (internally or externally).
When the band was famous and popular, Freddie claims to be ‘bored’ with the urge of wanting more, so he signs a solo deal for 4 billion Dollars in search of new fame. Even though his single album was a successful hit, he missed his real band-mates, Mary Austin and his family. Lesson 9: We must make sure to keep our loved ones close while we reach winning heights!
Besides Freddie, if you’ve watched, read or know the life story of superstars, you will find one thing in common – with fame came pain (prior or later). They may have lost a loved one, the presence of their families, their health, their house, or anything that mattered the most. For example – Sanjay Dutt, Janhvi Kapoor and Arjun Kapoor were some big stars who lost their moms just before their debut movies were released. Whitney Houston suffered from drug addiction. Freddie lost his life after suffering from AIDS for years. Sad, but true for normal people like us, too. Lesson 10: God gives us a choice to choose between worldly things (fame, money, power) and life.
Though there were a lot of learnings I took away from this movie, I personally thought that there could be a lot more done in the movie. For instance, according to me his ‘struggle’ with his sexuality wasn’t appropriately portrayed. Also, the love life between Jim and Freddie (after the Live Aid concert) could have been aptly depicted. After all, Jim was with him until he died in 1991. Yes, it would be a longer movie but we are on Netflix most of the time, so what’s stopping us from watching longer movies at our own pace?
Anyway, what do you think of these lessons? Tell me your thoughts.