There have been a plethora of untimely deaths in the world of music icons: Elvis Presley, Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, Kurt Cobain, Amy Winehouse, Prince (1958-2016). I’d missed this film that put him at the pinnacle of musical mavens.
As far as a script or scenario it is horrific; it would have fared better without sophomoric, jejune dialogue, predictable, laughable transitions and insipid love scenes. It is “Prince’s” film debut and despite looking exceptionally “pretty in purple”, slithering on stage, alacrity on a motorcycle, his acting capabilities are nonexistent.
As “The Kid” struggling to achieve elusive stardom; his competition the oily, obsequious, cad “Morris” (Morris Day, cringingly embarrassing in the role); his father, a washed -up, abusive Jazz musician (the only truly legitimate actor of the crew, Clarence Williams III) is pejorative and dismissive of his son; his love interest, “Apollonia” (winner of the worst performance of the year, Apollonia Kotero) feels more like a babysitter than a peer.
That being said all the negative of “Purple Rain” is transcended by the brilliance of Prince, The Revolution; lyrics that lacerate emotionally, stunningly pulsate with reality, life’s pain and glory; capturing youth’s overpowering, mesmerizing potency of intense love/infatuation. The final twenty minutes of “Purple Rain” illuminates, without a doubt, Prince’s genius; a voice for the ages, dexterity with a guitar; androgynous agility splayed upon the stage; reminiscent of Michael Jackson’s fluidity, Prince’s moves resonate athleticism. Touched by the force of his radiance, I mourned the loss of another supernova, one who soared, played amongst the celestial, but in the end, a misfit amongst mortals.