Purple Rain: The film that (somehow) won an Oscar

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This past month, the music industry had something happen that hasn’t happened before. The event was that 80s legend Prince decided to pull all his music off all music streaming services and make it solely available on Jay-Z’s new streaming service TIDAL. Along with this announcement, Prince also released a new album on the service at least a week before it was released to iT
unes and on CD. Though this was a big move, the first big move of Prince’s career happened back in 1984 when he released the Academy Award-winning film “Purple Rain”.

The film is about this character called the Kid (Prince) who is a singer at the First Avenue, Seventh Street Entry club in Minneapolis.  After multiple bad performances and problems within the band over music, the Kid’s rival, Morris (Morris Day), who is also a singer in a band at the club, seeks to have the Kid’s band, the Revolution lose their residency at the club and be replaced by a girl group. Following one of his performances, the Kid is about to leave the club, but he is stopped by Apollonia (Apollonia Kotero), a girl who wants to start playing at the club. After a few more run ins at the club, the Kid falls for Apollonia and they begin a relationship. Shortly after this, Morris reaches out to Apollonia to see if she would join his new girl group. Though hesitant to do so, she agrees to join the group, which angers the Kid.

Though they still stay together, the Kid watches as her group, Apollonia 6 takes off. Then one night, the Kid’s abusive father attempts suicide after his wife leaves. In a fit of rage, the Kid starts ransacking his basement until he comes across something that his father lied about earlier in the film. Then following learning this truth, the Kid has to cope with the circumstances before the biggest performance of his life at First Avenue.

Overall, I believe “Purple Rain” is a so-so film. I thought that the movie is very choppy and missed some key plot points and the acting is very mediocre. Then again, I should note that IMDB says that the film only had three professional actors: the Kid’s parents and Apollonia Kotero. Though the film wasn’t great, it should be noted it won an Oscar for Best Soundtrack, thus proving the artistry of Prince and his musical genius.

The soundtrack was a critical success in the 80s. To this day, it is probably my favorite album of all time. What I like about the soundtrack is that the sound is so innovative. Before this film, the movie soundtrack of a film was just the film score and some background music, but what “Purple Rain” did was that it encouraged directors to make the soundtracks to a movie fun. Sure some films don’t have a successful soundtrack, but those that do have a successful soundtrack can attribute that success to “Purple Rain” because the film encouraged not only a fun sound, but popular singers to sing the tracks.

In conclusion, I give this movie three out of five stars. One for acting and two for the soundtrack. If you do watch this movie, I recommend the soundtrack instead of the film because it is the only redeeming thing about the film. Though if watching a movie is something you enjoy, I recommend renting this movie on iTunes because it’s next to impossible to find in stores. If someone does watch it, I hope you enjoy this very mediocre film from 1984.

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