For what reason was it that we (and by "we" I mean, collectively, "we") were completely convinced that Prince was a bad ass in that movie? Because we were! And not only was he a bad ass, he was a cool ass, bad ass! We were totally convinced he could kick our ass. Or anyone's ass! But why? Why did we think that? And if you're wondering why I'm questioning it, here, look at this:
Now, I'll grant you, Prince isn't exactly the most masculine dude NOW. I mean, look at the pic below. In that picture, you will notice that Prince has apparently raided the closet of either The Joker or a pimp for his wardrobe and borrowed a head scarf from Aunt Jemima to complete the ensemble.
Just for comparisons sake, here's a picture of The Joker, just so you know I'm not making this stuff up. I think you'll agree that it's the freaking same.
But back to Purple Rain. Why was this cool? Actually, I can understand the "cool" part (a little), but it's the "bad ass" part I'm still having a problem with. We're supposed to believe he can kick anyone's ass even when...
- He's wearing a white puffy shirt with ruffles in the front as if he's some sort of gay pirate,
- He's wearing a long purple trench coat, similar to the kind that a gay Donny Osmond would wear if he were a flasher,
- He's wearing slimming and tapered pants which go nicely with his freaking HEELS,
- He's riding a purple Kawasaki with a big windshield,
- He has at least 2 cans of mousse in his hair,
- He's sporting a wispy moustache, reminiscent of the Buccaneer pirates of yore, and
- His name in the movie is "The Kid".
So none of those qualities strike me as being overly masculine. Were we that desperate for bad ass role models in the mid-eighties that we settled for Prince? I had almost forgotten that his name was "The Kid". That could be a lead into another question, which is, Why is it that if you put "The" in front of a name, that makes your more intimidating? Some other famous "The" names would include:
- The Terminator, (Now the Governor of California. Hard to say which is scarier.)
- The Incredible Hulk (aka, "The Hulk", but only to his close friends),
OK, those two actually ARE intimidating. But "the" is used for other not-so-intimidating characters, such as:
- The Green Lantern (what in the hell kind of a super hero is named The Green Lantern? How is a lantern a super hero? Does he light up the path to truth, justice and the American way? I don't get it.)
- The Penguin (Again, I don't get it. Named after a small, flightless, waterfowl that resides in Antarctica. But put "The" in front of it (and add a top hat, a long cigarette holder and a monocle) and you've got yourself a villain!)
- The Joker (See above. Usually just thought of as a playing card, but with "The", a green haired, dapper dressing evil-doer residing in Gotham City.)
- The Easter Bunny (A rabbit, hopping around, delivering eggs. Scares the beejeezus out of me just thinking about it.)
You see my point, right?
I'm not even sure that I remember what the plot of this movie was supposed to be, other than Prince's big screen debut so that we could all see him sex up his guitar at the very end of the movie when it's all suspense filled and that suspense is about to peak. What is that literary term for the high point of a story plot? That's right! The climax. And that's exactly what happens. Wait. I just watched an entire movie that ends with the guy getting off with his guitar. Well, sort of. I guess I left out the part about his getting off with his guitar all over the audience that he is playing to. Ew. I mean, Wait. What?
I'll tell you, I prefer it if my bad ass movie characters can get off with something other than a guitar. Yeah, I'd actually prefer that they use a hot chick for that. But Prince? Nah, he's all good with doing it with the guitar as he turns his pain into his art. (And, in the process, turns our art into our pain.)
And while Prince is an extremely talented guy whose music I greatly enjoy, in "Purple Rain" he was, quite possibly, the least intimidating bad ass that there ever was.Sphere: Related Content