Monday, May 2, 2016

"Purple Rain": A downpour of dreck

It's considered bad form to speak ill of the dead. That may be why, in the aftermath of Prince's death, so many writers and pundits chose their words carefully when describing the singer's 1984 movie "Purple Rain."

Some articles simply noted that "Purple Rain" won an Academy Award for best original score. Others described the film as "iconic" or a "hit" -- pointedly avoiding any assessment of the actual quality of the movie.
Prince in "Purple Rain"

After seeing the movie last night, I can see why.

What all these writers are apparently too polite to say is that "Purple Rain" is a truly awful movie. "Movie" may not even be the right word. "Purple Rain" is nothing more than a string of music videos linked together by the flimsiest of plots, featuring acting so wooden you wonder if the performers are reading their lines off cue cards.


The storyline, seemingly dreamed up about 10 minutes before filming began, gives us an assortment of self-centered characters and little reason to care about them.

Yes, there is the music. But if you like Prince's music, simply buy his albums or download his songs. There' s no reason to give up two hours of your life to endure this movie.

On top of everything, "Purple Rain" is shockingly misogynistic. Women are beaten, demeaned, and treated as sexual playthings. Like a wife-beater's fantasy, they keep coming back for more. One male character tosses a woman who challenges him into a dumpster and walks away with a smirk.

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