Newest Reviews
Rough Draft, A
Battle of the Godfathers
Lu Over the Wall
She's Funny That Way
Vox Lux
Aftermath, The
Five Fingers for Marseilles
Jupiter's Moon
Favourite, The
Mysteries of the Gods
Coming Home
De Sade
Patti Cake$
Final Destination 2
Bros: After the Screaming Stops
Cockleshell Heroes, The
Mule, The
Sunday in the Country
Nutcracker Fantasy
Executive Action
Captain Marvel
Zombie Girl
Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Monkey King 3, The
Adventurers, The
Stripped to Kill
Daughter of Dr. Jekyll
Aladdin's Magic Lamp
Christopher Robin
Hole in the Ground, The
Blue Christmas
Death Trip
Newest Articles
Things Have Changed: Films You'd Be Insane to Make Now
The Hole in the Ground: Director Lee Cronin Interview
She's Missing: Director Alexandra McGuinness Interview
Woo's the Boss: Last Hurrah for Chivalry & Hand of Death on Blu-ray
Get Ahead in Showbiz: Expresso Bongo and It's All Happening
Outer Space and Outta Sight: Gonks Go Beat on Blu-ray
Tucked: The Derren Nesbitt Interview
Locomotion Pictures: The Best of British Transport Films on Blu-ray
Roman Scandals: Extreme Visions from Ancient Rome
Spider-Wrong and Spider-Right: The Dragon's Challenge and Into the Spider-Verse
Monster Dog: Cujo on Blu-ray
For Christ's Sake: Jesus Christ Superstar and The Last Temptation of Christ
Not In Front of the Children: Inappropriate Kids Movies
Deeper into Ozploitation: Next of Kin and Fair Game
Between the Wars: Babylon Berlin Series 1&2 on DVD
  Purple Rain A Prince Among MenBuy this film here.
Year: 1984
Director: Albert Magnoli
Stars: Prince, Apollonia Kotero, Morris Day, Olga Karlatos, Clarence Williams III, Jerome Benton, Billy Sparks, Jill Jones, Charles Huntsberry, Dez Dickerson, Brenda Bennett, Wendy Melvoin, Lisa Coleman, Bobby Z., Matt Fink, Brown Mark
Genre: Drama, Music
Rating:  6 (from 2 votes)
Review: While the Revolution are onstage at their local Minneapois club belting out one of their songs, an aspiring singer, Apollonia (Apollonia Kotero) is trying to get in to see the manager. She needs her big break, which the Revolution already has to some extent, but unless their leader The Kid (Prince) is more careful about how he treats those around him he may jeopardise his future in showbusiness. And The Kid's great rivals, The Time who are led by Morris (Morris Day), are not going to let him steal their thunder, wanting to dominate the scene themselves. Apollonia gains entry, and tries to contact the manager, and it is then she catches The Kid's eye...

Of course, originally it was to be Vanity who would be catching The Kid's eye, but she and Prince had broken up by the stage it got around to the making of his debut feature film, Purple Rain. The eighties threw up a few enduring icons of music: Madonna, Kylie Minogue, Morrissey, Adam Ant, um, Boy George, er, Shakin' Stevens and so on, but one of the men bestriding that decade's pop charts like a Colossus was Prince Rogers Nelson, and this film with its huge-selling soundtrack album declared him a force to be reckoned with, making him into a megastar of his age. But since the years have gone by and his eccentricities dominated the headlines, does this stand up?

Certainly the songs stand up, and anyone who recalls this era will be immediately transported back there when the first bars and spoken intro to "Let's Go Crazy" start up at the begining. As it progresses, it grows more apparent that the music was the best thing about Purple Rain by far, as the plot, a meandering soap opera of vaguely autobiographical parents and girlfriend issues, does not bear close scrutiny, and reaction at the time this was released reflected that. Ah, but nostalgia can do funny things to the mind, and the idiosyncrasies here, such as Prince becoming a world-beating ventriloquist (I defy you to see his lips move), can entertain.

Not as much as the tunes, but there no doubt that without, say Morris Day's comedy stylings as the charismatic bad guy, the experience would be a lot poorer: seeing him with his sidekick Jerome Benton and their routines, including an Abbott and Costello take-off, are a delight even as you know they're trying to be The Kid's nemesis. Everyone recalls Prince telling Apollonia that she must pass the initiation of purifying herself in the waters of Lake Minnetonka, but they do forget that it's bits like that which reveal a little light misogyny in the script by director Albert Magnoli and William Binns (who created Starsky and Hutch).

This also emerges in The Kid's treatment of the ladies in his band, Wendy and Lisa, in scenes that make you wonder how much of this is based in fact as they try to persuade him to use some of their self-penned songs. Naturally, our hero is only flawed so he can redeem himself in the end, so it's all right that he slapped Apollonia about because it was only as a result of his wife-beating father's attitudes that he even raised his hand to her, or so we're meant to think. If you can ignore such missteps, which are intended by all appearances to be taken entirely seriously, then there is always the sound of Prince singing "Take Me with U", "When Doves Cry", "I Would Die 4U" or that show-stopping title track which reduces the audience to tears (!), also sincere, but far easier to enjoy. Purple Rain wasn't the only film Prince made, but it was the best, even for those who were not around to hear him the first time.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


This review has been viewed 2486 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

Review Comments (0)

Untitled 1

Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
  Desbris M
Paul Shrimpton
  Rachel Franke
Enoch Sneed
  Derrick Smith
Darren Jones


Last Updated: