bohemian rhapsody & 3rd conditional

the movie bohemian rhapsody has been a huge global hit and rami malek‘s performance as queen lead singer freddie mercury has been recognized with several awards, including an academy award for best oscar.

remi malek giving his speech after winning the best actor oscar, 2019

rami malek accepting the best actor award at the 2019 oscars

fun elt practice richyrocks english on youtube

however (but), as this article by andrew pulver in the guardian explains,

remarkably, it’s a role [malek] almost never played: ali g and borat star sacha baron cohen was originally earmarked, before disagreements with queen band members who were producing the project.

remarkably means it’s amazing. earmarked means tagged, designated.

sacha baron cohen & freddie mercury

sacha baron cohen & freddie mercury

on, samantha maine shares comments from director will frears who was earmarked to direct the sacha baron cohen concept of the movie. as the frears/cohen version never happened, there is a lot of 3rd conditional, (modal auxiliary verb + have + past participle) used to describe hypothetical situations in the past.

frears said the movie would have focused on mercury’s “extreme lifestyle [of] debaucheryrather than his career with queen.

debauchery is satisfying sexual pleasures or decadence. rather than is similar to instead of. it is used to present an opposing alternative. would have focused is third conditional.

freddie mercury partying     freddie mercury partying

rather than call it debauchery, let’s just say that according to legend (and online photos) freddie mercury liked to party.

frears adds

sacha wanted to make a very outrageous film, which i imagine freddie mercury would have approved of… it would have been outrageous in terms of his homosexuality and outrageous in terms of endless naked scenes…sacha loved all of that.

would have approved of and would have been outrageous are two more hypothetical examples in the past (3rd conditional). outrageous is extravagant or flamboyant. endless, an adjective ending with the suffix -less, means without end. in other words, the sacha baron cohen version would have had a lot of nudity.

the naked wrestling scene in borat

sacha baron cohen (left) wrestling naked in borat

i enjoyed bohemian rhapsody, but the sacha baron cohen project sounds like it would have been a more fascinating movie. in the end, baron cohen and the members of queen couldn’t agree though. maine’s article says

queen‘s roger taylor opened up about why baron cohen was eventually dropped from playing the pivotal role: there was a lot of talk about sacha and stuff. it was never really on. i don’t think he took it seriously enough — didn’t take freddie seriously enough.

open up means reveal, share feelings. drop means remove. pivotal means important. stuff is a very general word that in this context could mean communication or publicity.

the members of queen were ecstatic (very happy) with rami malek’s transformation into freddie mercury; and while the performance has taken malek to the top of his profession, he admits he felt intimidated about playing the legendary rocker. pulver’s piece in the guardian quotes malek–

what do you do?…the scariest endeavours that i’ve chosen to take in my life have been the most fulfilling and rewarding. and this has proven to defend that equation.

scariest is the superlative for scary (causing fear). endeavors are efforts, attempts. fulfilling means personally satisfying. present perfect (auxiliary have/has + past participle) is used three times here: i’ve chosen, have been, has proven. rami is using present perfect to talk about his life up to this moment. prove means verify, confirm.

freddie mercury

would a more outrageous version of freddie mercury have made a better movie?

are u familiar with rami malek and sacha baron cohen? did u see bohemian rhapsody? which version of the queen movie is more interesting: the real one or the hypothetical? share your opinions under leave a reply




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