Saturday, January 28, 2006

My DVD Review - The Rose

Directed by Mark Rydell
Starring Bette Midler, Alan Bates, Harry Dean Stanton, Frederic Forrest and Barry Primus.
Release Date 1979

In an Oscar nominated performance, BETTE MIDLER portrays a rock star whose success is laced with so much booze, drugs and hard-living, that it eventually causes her downfall. Trapped in a self created hell, Rose begs her manager (ALAN BATES) for time off from her concert tour. When he refuses, she seeks comfort and love in the arms of a handsome drifter (FREDERIC FORREST), but even he cannot handle her life of excess. Electrifying musical numbers, including the hit song "The Rose" make this film a pop culture classic.
Bette Midler's fictional role bears striking similarities to Janis Joplin, who many say was the film's inspiration. Like Joplin, Midler's character performs while drinking Southern Comfort, she is called "Rose" as Joplin was called "Pearl" and she returns home to flaunt her success, just as Joplin showed up at her high school reunion.

I first saw this movie in the early 80's. On TV of course, and in those days movies like this were cut to shreds. When it first came out on VHS, I bought it. Wore my copy out. I have to say this is one of my all time favourite movies. Ms Midler's voice..all I can say is...AMAZING! She brought pure emotion to the movie. No matter how many times I see it, I still cry at the end. Alan Bates, as Rose's promoter/manager, plays a control freak, and truly, all you wanna do is slap him. It leaves you wondering whether Rose's excessive lifestyle, or her manager's constant harassment of her, gets to her in the end. You can see her knowing her limits, yet he continually wants to make money out of her. You empathise with her character, all she wants is love and happiness. But her eagerness to please her public and her manager makes her question her own happiness in the end. All in all, even though it is an old movie now, it's still a great movie. I don't think it will ever date. If you get a chance to watch it, enjoy it as much as I do.

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