By Jess Grieveson-Smith
Is this the real life, or is this just fantasy? A pensioner has proven she’s a killer Queen fan after watching the film Bohemian Rhapsody a staggering 80 TIMES and spending more than £500 on tickets.
Annie Hunter, from Walsall, West Mids, has spent a total of 10,640 minutes watching the film – which totals over SEVEN DAYS in her local cinema.
Seeing almost every available screening of the biopic, which tells the story of rock band Queen’s leading man, Freddie Mercury, at Showcase Cinema in Walsall, she’s attended both on her own and with friends.
After spending £500 in total on tickets – despite receiving some free viewings from Showcase Cinema staff – Annie has watched the film 80 times in four months.
The staff at the cinema decided to treat her to her own private screening yesterday [Feb 20], the penultimate day of showing, to thank her for her dedication.
Annie, 68, who is a retired social worker, said: “I made it a one woman mission to make critics like the film because lead actor, Rami Malek had done such an amazing job.
“I’m madly in love with Rami because he’s made every movement in the film an exact likeness of Freddie Mercury.
“I hadn’t heard of Rami Malek before, but I adored Freddie which is why I have watched it over 80 times.
“I have always loved the cinema but I have never spent so much money on one film before.
“I can’t get enough of it, the whole thing is amazing.”
Annie has always been a champion of Freddie Mercury, and believes the film – despite being slammed by some critics – is one of the best movies of all time.
She said: “The film has given me a new lease of life as I’ve made lots of new friends after meeting strangers outside the cinema to watch the film with me.
“I ask everybody coming in the cinema if they’ve seen the film or if they’re going to – and if they haven’t why not?
“Everyone I’ve talked to said it was brilliant and I’ve seen people looking for themselves in the film, as many who go to see it, were at the Live Aid concert back in 1985.”
For Annie at least, it seems that she has not quite been able to break free of her love for the Queen front-man, praising the film for not only an accurate depiction of Freddie Mercury, but for giving her a new lease of life.
The pensioner, who has fond memories of the original era of Queen, said: “When watching the Live Aid concert on TV I saw the atmosphere really come alive when Freddie stepped out onto stage.
“And that’s where it all began for me.
“He was so innovative and so ahead of his time.
“The film makes sure to address every issue he encountered, and they do so subtly.
“It’s mad – my friends think I’m dotty, but I’ve bought the CDs, the soundtracks and now I’m seeing that Queen is popular with the teens of today.
“It’s truly fantastic – and if you haven’t seen it, please do!”
Mark Barlow, Showcase UK General Manager, said:”Superfan Annie has watched Bohemian Rhapsody more than 80 times here with us, and is practically part of the family here at Showcase Walsall.
“We’re delighted that she has enjoyed the film as much as she has, and no doubt knows the script back to front now.
“It’s been our pleasure to be able to host her own private screening of the film so she can enjoy it once more and, with the screen to herself, can sing along as loud as she likes!”