As fans of film there is bound to be a movie you know of or even enjoyed that was based on an actual person (whether that be living or dead). Or perhaps a movie focused on true events. Either way, Hollywood takes no prisoners when adapting that event or person to a script for the big screen. That means that there are bound to be lines that are crossed, facts that are made more dramatic, and even people that will be completely made up to tell a story worth watching.
And this is where facts and fiction often mix and blend until there is something else entirely. But as an audience, is this really that important to us when we’re watching the movie? Is it more important for a film to educate you or to entertain you? Or perhaps you’re looking for the perfect blend of both?
So we wanted to delve a little deeper into this to see exactly how many “based on true story” movies are completely made up, semi-factual, or the real deal. And we’ll be featuring a movie every week, intending to look as deeply as we can into the facts versus the fiction. This is going to mean that we’ll be relying on sources that may or may not be legit, but we’ll do our best.
We’ve found a few resource websites that look promising and we’ll also be looking at a topic that is related – movies that no one believed are based on true stories.
To kick things off, here’s a movie that’s relatively recent in movie-goers minds’
Bohemian Rhapsody (2019)
According to the website Information is Beautiful, there are three different levels of fact-checking you can choose from which show either more or less of the truth based on the level you choose. We looked at each one for Bohemian Rhapsody and this is what the website came up with:
Each colour represents the following:
Level: Flexible – c’mon its movies!
Level: Can bear some dramatic license:
Level: Only the absolute truth
At the highest level, it looks like Bohemian Rhapsody is relying heavily on artistic liberties to get the story told on the big screen.
If you hover over each section, you are able to gather all the details and the source of the information as well which is of course quite important if you’re telling the truth. Check out the details right here.
At the end of the day, we think truth matters but not at the expense of the story being told in an entertaining way. Dealing with real-life situations in film will always be a tricky one to get right and we appreciate that the people involved are creators as well.
It shouldn’t however, be fake just to sell box office seats in movie theatres because that would just suck. It all comes down to the integrity of the people that make the movie what it is.
Thanks for reading and we’ll catch you in the comments or in our next post!
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Freelance entertainment writer and reviewer. Visit my blog on https://thebrokenquill.com.