His solo journey, without Queen, from 1985 until his death in 1991. Ballet, opera, the appearance of the moustache, the discovery of gay hedonism, one unreleased duet with Rod Stewart and another with Michael Jackson, Montserrat Caballé and “Barcelona”. Whispers and wonders. Intimate and revealing.
There goes Freddie, at his own speed. Mr. Bad Guy. Without the queens. The Great Pretender centers on Freddie Mercury, singer and front man of Queen's solo journey, from 1985 until his death in 1991. To illustrate the great leap, we must of course, take a run up: we'll first witness his childhood and youth, although this is something that has already abounded in films about Queen. The striking stuff starts where the others left off. It speaks about his non-rock interests that would go on to mark his final years: ballet, Liza Minnelli, opera... It speaks of his bonds with the other members. It speaks, of course, of the Great Rebirth: the apparition of the moustache, the discovery of gay hedonism and the NewYorkan discos. And it speaks of how Mercury rediscovered himself as a performer, showing his true colors. Extraordinary things inhabit this film: an unreleased duet with Rod Stewart, another with Michael Jackson (the relationship with Jacko fizzled when he insisted on inviting a llama to the studio); intimate declarations by Montserrat Caballé; his 1979 appearance as a ballerina for the London Royal Ballet; "Barcelona", in never-before-seen detail; and much more. Roger Taylor and Brian May's defense on TV just after his death may just be the best possible culmination in a film filled with whispers and wonders.