Heejae Park/ OCSA 11th
It was recently announced that the music biographical film Bohemian Rhapsody won Best Motion Picture - Drama at the Golden Globes awards show. Additionally, Rami Malek, playing the late Freddie Mercury, took the trophy for Best Actor - Drama. However, much of the attention falls to the former, with critics surprised by how the film managed to claim the award with its lower film ratings.
The film’s ratings rested surprisingly low at 62% on Rotten Tomatoes, indicating that a number of critics didn’t view the film as particularly effective. Observing previous winners for the awards, it’s called to attention that the film’s low ratings were second only to Out of Africa in 1986, barely falling under with 60%. This comes off as a surprise, as awards such as Best Drama Motion Picture often seem to carry an expectation that the ratings of Bohemian Rhapsody seem to fall under.
However, some do carry the conviction that the film was good enough to justify its award. Thomas Jang, a high school sophomore in Irvine, believed that the film performed quite well after seeing it, and perhaps deserved a higher rating due to its good job at telling the story. He believed that the film effectively covered the history of Freddie Mercury.
“I think the directors covered the history well, especially Freddie Mercury’s personal life,” Thomas said. “I just think they did a good job of telling the story of how Queen came to be.”
Additionally, others who haven’t seen the film believe that there likely was a reason for the film receiving the award. Travis Mewhirter said that he didn’t believe a film would win Best Film by accident, saying that something must have gotten right. Additionally, he suggested that some movies that have won awards in the past may have not resonated with its entire audience at times.
“I don’t think anything wins Best Film by accident, so something must have gotten right.” Travis stated. “There were a lot of movies that won big awards that may have not resonated with some people. But at the same time, I don’t think any film just wins by accident.”
This sentiment about the criticism is shared amongst others as well. Queen’s guitarist Brian May offered his input as to why the film received its lower ratings, stating that the film may have been judged and criticized too early to give an accurate review of the movie itself. According to May, “the mistake that critics made was reviewing the trailer instead of reviewing the film. They jumped to conclusions. Once people stake their claim, it’s hard for them to withdraw.” Additionally, Rami Malek’s co-star Lucy Boynton also expressed frustrations about the criticisms.
In addition to defenses against criticisms, other factors show how the film may have had more traction than the reviews suggested. Bohemian Rhapsody stands as the highest-grossing music biographical film of all time, making $600 million at the box office. It was able to make more profits than other films like The Greatest Showman, and claimed its place at the lead after beat the revenue made by Mamma Mia! in 2008.
Additionally, the film has resonated well with the public despite the judgements made about the film by critics by performing much better at the international scale, likely owing to the global appeal of a band like QUeen.
<Heejae Park/ OCSA 11th