Wednesday, January 29, 2014

[Mini Review] What’s Love Got to Do with It (1993)

DIRECTED BY: Brian Gibson
STARRING: Angela Bassett, Laurence Fishburne
RATING: 4/5 stars

The story of singer Tina Turner from her early life to her rise to stardom with abusive husband Ike Turner and her eventual break away and success as a solo artist.

I love a good biography/drama, there’s always plenty of triumph and tragedy to be found. What's Love Got to Do with It follows the typical formula and plot structure as most biopics but it’s by no means a bad one, quite the opposite. In fact it’s one of the most powerful I’ve seen in a long time.

It's a story about finding the courage to break free; in Tina's case from her abusive and overbearing husband and band-leader Ike Turner. The brutality she had to endure on an almost daily basis is horrendous. The film has one of the most violent rape scenes I've witness, naturally very difficult to watch.

The film is adapted from Tina Turner's book titled I, Tina. Since its release it has raised questions over the many damning accusations made at Ike Turner, in particular the extent of the physical and sexual abuse. And the release of the film only stirred up the debate once again. I can't speak for the book as I haven't read it but if you have doubts about what is depicted in the film, just look up a video interview of Ike Turner, those doubts will soon fade.

Angela Bassett as Tina Tuner is fantastic; her performance is powerful and inspiring which earned her an Oscar nomination for Best Actress. Laurence Fishburne gives a very menacing and intimidating performance as Ike Turner. I wish the film explored his character further as I felt his portrayal was very one dimensional.

If you're after a strong and inspiring story with first rate performances this biopic is one I recommend checking out.

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