September 21, 1990 at 04:00 AM EDT

Purple Rain

type
Music
Current Status
In Season
performer
Prince
genre
Soundtracks
We gave it an A-

In Purple Rain, a hokey but mesmerizing rock-video psychodrama, Prince plays the Kid, a talented musician who’s still hung up on his relationship with his brooding musician father (Clarence Williams III). The film is like East of Eden replayed as a hyperbolic rock fever dream. There are a few sour, juvenile moments, but this is the rare pop movie that works the way a great rock & roll song does: It tells a simple, almost elemental tale and uses the music to set it aflame. Prince magnetizes the camera with The Stare — a rivetingly narcissistic, come-hither gaze that’s equal parts genetics, attitude, and eyeliner. A-

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