- So I’ll admit that I wasn’t alive when this film was unspooled into cineplexes worldwide, but yet I can still admire it for everything it is. Well maybe “admire” isn’t the right word. Well either way, I can see what a crazy piece of 80’s nostalgia it is.
I, like many other music aficionados, consider Prince and The Revolution’s “Purple Rain” to be one of the greatest rock albums ever made in the history of the universe that we live in. And well, I think many consider this to be one of the greatest films ever made featuring leotards. Okay, maybe that’s debatable. But Purple Rain is indeed a fantastic motion picture. Well, actually probably not. It just has all that amazing music. It manages to elevate a pretty laughable movie into a genuinely moving film experience.
The one and only lovesexy himself, Prince, plays the main characters who goes by the name of “The Kid”. Yeah, I know that he was like 30 when he made the movie but he still lives with his parents. So I guess the name is apt. Anywho, The Kid does two things really well, playing sick music and riding a motorcycle. And there’s this girl named Apollonia who’s his love interest and stuff…yadda yadda yadda. We all just watch this movie for the awesome music. It’s not like it ever really attempts to have a coherent story.
There’s some plot line about The Kid’s Dad being an abusive a-hole towards his mother. The actor who plays the father is pretty much the only person in the movie who actually seems to be trying to give a good performance. But really, all that matters is that this subplot is responsible for “When Doves Cry”. It’s really kind of hard to take The Kid’s emotional wreckage seriously when he tries to stop his father from abusing his mother…while wearing this big purple jacket. Needless to say, Prince’s performance doesn’t help at all. But damn can he play the guitar.
I may say all of this snarky stuff…but by the time Prince performs the title song at the film’s conclusion, tears start to stream down my face. “Purple Rain” is undoubtedly one of the greatest and most emotional songs ever written. And when The Kid dedicates it to his Dad before he plays, well…it really gets to me.
So yes, Purple Rain is essentially a glorified music video. But it is still a very worthwhile film. Whether it be a reminder of how ridiculously awesome the 80’s was in terms of fashion, culture, clubs, acting, etc. Or as a reminder of how awesome it is to watch Prince dry hump air. Or really, as an emotional story of a kid who just wanted to love and be loved in return…and act out S&M fetishes while playing guitar.