“Dearly Beloved, we R gathered here 2day 2 get through this thing called Life…”
Granted, the soundtrack is phenomenal. It is Prince’s best album and the Revolution is maybe the finest funk formation outside George Clinton’s realm. But the movie?
Unfortunately, I think the memory of this cinematic outing may have been soiled by Under the Cherry Moon and Graffiti Bridge. Indeed, that’s unfortunate because there has never been a rock-n-roll story more simple and more pure.
The Kid (who fronts a rock band that happens to share the same name as Prince’s rock band) comes from a troubled home. His abusive, “two-fold” father’s dreams were shattered as a young man. To compensate for his failures, he attempts to destroy hope in The Kid. His mother is never satisfied. Why do they scream at each other? This is what it sounds like when doves cry.
To rebel, The Kid rides a purple motorcycle through the streets of Minneapolis.
In the meantime, The Kid’s rival, Morris Day, is funking it up at Jam Glam with his rock outfit The Time, dissing The Kid and his purple motorcycle. The Kid throws the gauntlet at the feet of Morris, issuing a challenge to a Battle of the Jams. The winner gets hottie Apollonia; the loser can funk right off.
And even if that really isn’t quite what Purple Rain is all about, does it really matter? I mean, we get to see Prince and the Revolution (or The Kid and the Revolution) shrieking through “Let’s Go Crazy,” “I Would Die 4U,” “Purple Rain” and a half dozen other wicked jams. Wendy and Lisa are lesbilicious! And you haven’t lived until you’ve seen Prince dry-hump a Marshall amp.
Plus, Morris Day and the Time tearing the roof off the sucker with “The Bird” and “Jungle Love.” Oh-ee-oh-ee-oh!
Purple Rain is a terrific movie. Maybe it’s just because I’m a huge Prince fan, but I think it’s something more. Perhaps it’s that rock-n-roll movies have a special place in my heart. Whatever. All I know is “I never wanted 2 cause U any sorrow, I never wanted 2 cause U any pain. I only wanted 2 C U 1 time laughing, C U laughing in the Purple Rain.”