Purple Rain (1984)

Though I wasn't a fan of Prince (I'm probably too young for that) I always wanted to watch Purple Rain as I've heard so many great things about it. The film, unfortunately, did not meet my expectations. And by far. 

The film tells the story of The Kid (Prince), a young and talented musician who dreams of becoming a star. While trying to prove himself to the people who surround him, he has to deal with a rival band who is trying to steal his place in the club and Apollonia (Apollonia Kotero), a young aspiring singer who is trying to steal his heart, and he also must protect his mother (Olga Karlatos) from his abusive father (Clarence Williams III).

One of the several issues I had with Purple Rain is the plot. It has been done many times before and therefore is very predictable. There are also many plot holes and several subplots that could have made the film so much better which unfortunately don't work that well --the love triangle between the Kid, Apollonia and Morris (Morris Day), the leader of the Kid's rival band, is bland, predictable and tedious, and the abusive father, which is exactly what is needed here to elevate the story, isn't written nor handled as well as it should have. 

The characters are another element of Purple Rain that just didn't work for me. There isn't enough characterization to make the characters compelling, some of the relationships between the characters aren't that well developed and some of the actions of the characters don't make a lot of sense. Coming from a broken home, it makes sense that The Kid would eventually hit a woman and yet, when it eventually happens, it doesn't make sense as he doesn't have a motivation for doing such a thing. Also, why doesn't Apollonia make a big deal of it? My guess is that he charmed her so much that she is willing to take the beating to stay with him, but why the love triangle then? The behaviour of The Kid's father is what bothered me the most though. He is verbally and physically abusive. How come he never says a thing about the way his son dresses? It's just weird, that's all.

Warner Bros.
The acting also leaves a lot to be desired. While Clarence Williams III is very good as the kid's abusive father and Morris Day does a decent job as Morris, The Kid's rival, the rest of the cast is terrible, especially Prince and his comical performance.

Music-wise, it's a whole different story. Purple Rain's soundtrack is indeed excellent, the songs integrate well with the story and they really carry the film. 


  1. Sorry you didn't get into it but at least you liked Morris. He was the reason why I loved the film.

  2. You make lots of great points. Extra points for making one I've never heard before:

    "He is verbally and physically abusive. How come he never says a thing about the way his son dresses? It's just weird, that's all." Can't believe I never picked up on this. Great observation.

    I grew up with this movie and I'm a huge Prince fan, so there's a heavy nostalgia factor for me. It is certainly a flawed movie and driven by that soundtrack, which is one of my all-time favorite albums. I love it, warts and all.

    1. That bugged me so much! Anyway, I'm glad you love it.