December 15, 2016
Review #885: Purple Rain.
Prince (The Kid), Apollonia Kotero (Apollonia), Morris Day (Morris), Olga Karlatos (Mother), Clarence Williams III (Francis L), Jerome Benton (Jerome), Billy Sparks (Billy), Jill Jones (Jill), Dez Dickerson (Dez), Wendy Melvoin (Wendy), and Lisa Coleman (Lisa) Directed by Albert Magnoli.
Purple Rain is certainly an interesting movie, that is for sure. It's not campy, but it isn't entirely a drama. This was the film debut of Prince, in a movie that has semblances of autobiography but is more about showcasing his talents, with songs such as "Let's Go Crazy" and "Purple Rain", naturally. The film does have some sort of plot, though the way the tone can simply just go wild is certainly interesting. There's a line between laughing on purpose and laughing without regard to what's going on...this is a movie where the lines become a bit blurred. One scene you could have the main lead tricking someone into diving into a cold lake and leaving them there (briefly), and another scene you can have him bump his rival with his motorcycle. Trying to figure the movie out is like trying to remember the lyrics of a song...played in reverse. The characters are about as strangely constructed as the film is, but they certainly are interesting, even if there is no real sort of emotional depth to anything other than the songs (for the most part). Day (as the de facto villain) is pretty enjoyable, however. His expressions and the way he conducts this character (oozing with sleaze) is pretty enjoyable. Even a scene mimicking "Who's on First" with Day and Benton is pretty funny. Kotero and Prince have some sort of chemistry (with a romance that literally develops overnight), though they certainly fit with the movie. There is a strange charisma to everything that keeps you watching a movie that isn't quite as vain as it could have been. It's like fast food that is admittedly a bit wrought with sauce but is still enjoyable. The songs are certainly a treat, with Prince and The Time both having some riveting tunes. It's not a terrible film, nor a good one, but it is a fairly watchable and engaging movie. You want a movie of the time? A movie that makes you want to listen to the album? Or something that is just something on its own. It's not the kind of film worthy to picked on by film "analysts", but it is the kind of movie to sit back and talk on.
Overall, I give it 7 out of 10 stars.