What About the Comparisons Between Bohemian Rhapsody and Rocketman?

Surely most of you have already seen the Bohemian Rhapsody and Rocketman movies, and taken your own opinions about each of them. Many comparisons from fans and other people have been made, whether negative or positive. Let’s understand why they came in tone.

First, let’s understand a little about what is covered in each film:

Bohemian Rhapsody

Released last year, it tells the story of the international music group Queen beyond the music star and lead singer, Freddie Mercury. This film shows how the musicians came together, their success around the world, the fights and discussions, Freddie’s life involving his homosexuality and how the group's classic songs that tell about their lives were written.

Image Source: IMDB


This film was also released this year, telling the story of the singer Elton John, since his childhood to adulthood. The narrative is made through the group “Alcoholics Anonymous” in which Elton is a part, where his life trajectory starts and concludes. The songs used in the soundtrack gave a more musical tone in the film. In order to not focus on the traditional question that many films (including Bohemian Rhapsody) ask about how they were written, they tell about an important and specific moments and feelings experienced by the singer during the scenes.

Image source: IMDB 

Criticism of sexuality

Therefore, some comparisons were made, which could be considered unfair. Many fans didn’t like the movie Bohemian Rhapsody for not really speaking about the singer’s life. “In the movie Bohemian Rhapsody, Freddie’s sexuality seems somewhat fragile or somewhat induced, not looking as worked as it could be”, explained the student of University of São Paulo (USP), Juliana Bueno. Really, the movie subtly passes over this issue. In this case, the focus is more on his relationship with his partner Mary Austin. Anyway, the most important thing in the movie was to tell the story of the group and their compositions.

In Rocketman, the story about the singer’s sexuality was more openly told, as many of Elton life choices were due to his homosexuality. The singer himself commented “I did not lead a life appropriate for minors”, which made the film more explicitly portrayed issues of sex and drugs. “Rocketman, because it was produced with Elton John, clearly and really brings the singer’s sex life”,said Cásper Líbero College journalism student Lucas Couto.

The point of view

The main difference that can be made in relation of both of them is the point of view addressed in each story. In Rocketman, we see the events of the narrative only from the point of view of the leading actor. The whole story has only one truth, the Elton John’s eyes, giving us just one option about the whole story.

In Bohemian Rhapsody, we see the stories as absolute truths presented by the Queen group. Many scenes don’t have certain truths about Freddie and the group, where the big fans didn’t recognized and all the public were sad for don’t seeing what they really wanted.

Check it out some comments from people who watched the movies and their opinion of what were portrayed in movies’ stories:

“Bohemian Rhapsody brings a narrative more focused on the band’s career, with striking scenes from Queen recording and producing their songs. In Rocketman, I missed it, focusing so much on Elton John’s personal life, and a little of his work”, says Cásper Líbero advertising student Renata Duran.

“I don’t know so much about the story, but I think that much of the personality and reality with which both films portray drugs and the involvement of the main characters with them has become much more romanticized. I don’t see the movies as a storyteller, but more as tributes”, comments Cásper Líbero Jorge Carmo journalism student.

“Bohemian Rhapsody follows the line of telling the artist’s story and inserting the songs into concert scenes. In Rocketman, the film is more of a musical. I think the fact that Elton John is a pop performer has led to this choice of direction. I found it interesting that this choice of script and direction that was accepted in Rocketman seemed to me more different when compared to other films that tell stories of singers and bands”, says Cásper Líbero Natália Pinheiro, a journalism student.

Image source: IMDB 


The musical playlists of both films were very well chosen, with more famous songs, some not so well known but of great significance for a certain point in history. The criticisms that have arisen are related to the actors who played the main characters.

Rami Malek interpreting Freddie Mercury was extraordinary. Incorporating a hard-to-represent star is not for everyone, especially choosing a person who is at least somewhat physically resembling the artist. Many of the songs in the movie were voiced by Rami because Freddie's timbre is second to none and unusual. Clearly, this did not make the film lose its essence but rather brought us closer to the memory of the amazing star's voice.

What surprised fans and others was the talent and voice of Taron Egerton as Elton John. He sang and brilliantly braved the songs of the singer.


It should be noted that the filmmaker Dexter Fletcher, director of Rocketman, was the one who finalized Bohemian’s movie, following the departure of project director Bryan Singer, who had some influence on the production of both films. Thus comparisons between them should end at this point.Image source: IMDB

Comparisons about movies that tell about the lives of artists will always be made, especially by critics and fans who know the story very well. What’s more, the movies won’t portray and show exactly what the story really is like. The always put a lighter tone on some subjects, heavier on others and omit many ones because they don’t fit the context they want to pass.