Purple Rain

I went out to the office and checked my messages.  I returned home to watch the Blu-ray edition of “Purple Rain,” although I was rather late getting around to it, I would say.  It was somewhat better in high definition than on DVD.  One thing I thought about was the treatment of the women, which wasn’t great.  One woman was thrown into a dumpster, which seemed symbolic and representative.  I couldn’t believe Apollonia’s behavior, which made no sense at all.  First, Prince, or the Kid, tricks her into jumping naked into a lake, then he slaps her across the face, which should have been the end of the relationship, and then he orders her to get on the motorcycle.  How is it that she is supposed to be in love with him?  Why is The Kid named The Kid, anyway, since he is 26 years old?  He is a rebellious young man, but he hangs around his parents’ house a lot.  There is a struggle to fit the music dramatically into this thin story, especially “Darling Nikki.”  It was supposed to represent some sort of low point in The Kid’s professional behavior, although I couldn’t see what the outrage was all about.  Again, though, hostile behavior directed at Apollonia.  The Kid doesn’t respect the talents of his bandmates Wendy and Lisa, dismissing their music.  The kiss on the cheek at the end is supposed to solve everything there, but is incredibly unconvincing.  I wonder what happened to Clarence Williams III in the ten years between The Mod Squad and “Purple Rain.”  His character in this picture is badly drawn, just like all the others.  He abuses his wife, The Kid’s mother, without any kind of explanation behind it.  Maybe it’s telling that every character in the movie is within a narrow age range except The Kid’s parents, who don’t have names.  The competition of the bands was not a great idea for compelling drama.  Prince is good when he’s on stage performing his songs, but he is not an actor.  Even the music could have been more powerful if the music was truly captured live.  One moment I was waiting for was his eating of the Doritos chip, but I didn’t see it.  Was I not watching carefully enough, or was the shot edited out for some reason?  I thought about how 32 years have passed, and perceptions of this movie must have changed over that time.  Some of the flaws are more apparent.  You could tell that men worked on the screenplay because of the weakness of characters like Apollonia and the mother.  Apollonia bounces around passively between The Kid and Morris.  The mother doesn’t do anything but cry.  The father is the one with musical talent, which seems to be everything in this twisted world.  Some of the people who died on June 22 include David O. Selznick (1965), Judy Garland (1969), Joseph Losey (1984), Fred Astaire (1987), Ann Landers (2002), George Carlin (2008), and Dody Goodman (2008).  Today is a birthday for Cyndi Lauper (63), Meryl Streep (67), Lindsay Wagner (67), and Kris Kristofferson (80).

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