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Graffiti Bridge Review

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The Kid and Morris Day are competitors and each runs a club of his own. They make a bet about who writes the best song and the Kid's club is on the line.

★★★★

Incoherent, self-indulgent and incompetent in so many basic ways, Graffiti Bridge exemplifies all the dangers inherent in simply pandering to the ego of a pop star. Decent enough — albeit repetitive — as a songwriter, musician and record producer, Prince here “acts”, “writes” and “directs” as if these skills require no study, but would emanate from his very being on request.

Everything about this film appears to be the work of infants — or at least, of an adult living in a state of suspended infantilism. Prince’s script, such as it is, appears to be a reductio ad absurdium(all itals) of Purple Rain, with Prince as The Kid engaged in yet another nightclub feud with The Time’s Morris Day, who gets to preen himself once more in the mirror held by sidekick Jerome Benton, whilst Prince cruises round on yet another outsized motorbike. With the exception of Day, who has since gone on to star in a US sitcom, the dramatics throughout are strictly amateur: Paisley Park starlet Jill Jones acts the ranting bitch as Day’s moll; Ingrid Chavez flits around helplessly as Prince’s inamorata Aura; and dozens of extras wander aimlessly round gritty “street” industrial settings lit in the most hackneyed promo-video “designer” style, replete with neon, steam and those bright spots that always have slowly rotating fan blades in front of them.

Songs are performed by Prince, The Time, child discovery Tevin Campbell, and gospeller Mavis Staples — who really should know better, as it’s all in the service of outmoded and demeaning black pimp/hood/bitch stereotypes that should have been thrown out back in 1984 with Purple Rain.

All told, a fairly shameful enterprise, displaying a breathtaking paucity of imagination.

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