The Freddie Mercury biopic charts the late Queen singer’s rise to fame, but also his personal life including coming to terms with his sexuality. However, in some countries, Bohemian Rhapsody’s gay scenes have been censored, with China cutting any reference to Freddie’s sexuality. Now Queen guitarist May has reviewed an edited version of the movie on a flight with Oman Air. The 72-year-old had been on a trip to Zanzibar to visit his old friend’s birthplace.
Posting on Instagram, May wrote: “Great movies on this plane! Bohemian Rhapsody, eh ?! I had to take a look at it – to check out how much our movie had been ‘expurgated’ for showing on Oman Air.
“Yep – they sure hacked away it – no kissing, no ‘bollocks’, and Freddie wasn’t even allowed to quite get to the point of ‘confessing’ to Mary – though it was pretty clear what the scene was about.
“By the end, I really did feel that a lot of the film’s message was lost. Which made me sad.”
Nevertheless, May felt some good aspects of Bohemian Rhapsody managed to come through.
He continued; “But then again, a lot of the good stuff DID come across even in this version.
“And – you know – it’s easy to get all superior and disapproving about this stuff – but it wasn’t so long ago that The Rolling Stones were only allowed to perform on the USA’s Ed Sullivan Show if they changed Let’s Spend the Night Together to Let’s Spend Some Time Together!!
“Don’t believe me? Check it out on YouTube! Maybe we’re not so liberal and progressive as we think we are!
“Or maybe, for every nation, it takes time and tolerance and … compromise? To get to a good place.”
In another recent post, May slammed Bohemian Rhapsody critics for pointing out alleged mistakes from Freddie’s life.
He said: “A few armchair critics think, by comparing the film’s narrative with scraps that they’ve picked up from press stories, unauthorised biographies, etc, that they see ‘mistakes’?
“I can assure you all that not a single, word, action, emotion in Bohemian Rhapsody is there by accident, or for any other reason than to provide an insight, a clue to the big picture, a brush stroke in a coherent portrait of a man and his life and dreams.
“The fact that this movie has become by far the most successful biopic in history tells me that we – or actually the whole BR team – on the whole – got it right.”