Review: Freddie Mercury-Who Wants To Live Forever?

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John Blunt as Freddie Mercury. Photo:Channel 5

On paper, this was an intriguing proposition-a new Channel 5 docu-drama focusing on the life of fascinating Queen frontman Freddie Mercury, which purported to tell the true story of the real man behind the huge voice and flamboyant gestures.

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John Blunt photo: Channel 5

Sadly, in spite of an uncanny performance by John Blunt,who not only looked eerily like Mercury, but captured many of his mannerisms beautifully,  and interviews with close friends like chauffeur/bodyguard Terry Giddings, the programme quickly descended into tabloid-like prurience (Mercury’s promiscuity,cocaine habit and rampant egotism) and followed his diagnosis with AIDS in Spring 1987 until his tragic death in November 1991 aged just 45.

 

It’s a horrible irony that the film,which criticised the red tops for hounding Mercury upon learning of his diagnosis,  steadfastly refused to go deeper into the shy young man who got into performing to gain a deeper confidence, his wit, or his love of art,theatre and opera; favouring instead a nasty hack job with protracted scenes of his rapidly deteriorating health. I’m not the biggest Queen fan around,but Mercury was unquestionably a massive and charismatic talent who deserves much better, 25 years after his untimely death.

(LI)

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The real Freddie Mercury in his video for The Great Pretender

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