Kehr Capsule of the Week: Purple Rain (1984)

Purple Rain (1984) poster

Prince‘s 1984 movie debut seems more like his deification, with an aggressively stupid plot line (supposedly autobiographical, but if that’s true, Prince must have grown up in a retirement community for burned-out screenwriters) that serves only to set him up as a paragon of artistic integrity, sexual prowess, and superhuman sensitivity. The story dynamics dictate that the film should have climaxed with Prince graciously accepting the Nobel Peace Prize, but instead director Albert Magnoli casually tosses the story aside, ending with half an hour of the concert footage that is the film’s only reason for being. The project would have been much more palatable as a TV special; as it stands, it’s just another symptom of the American cinema’s addiction to facile myth-making.

 

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