It takes a great filmmaker to bring together a group of average actors and an overly done storyline and present it in a way that leaves the audience in awe.
Purple Rose is the story of Annette, played flawlessly by the exquisite Nse Ikpe-Etim, an uptight journalist who is planning her wedding to her out of town fiancee, Ethan, and Dylan – played by Eddie Watson – a husband trying desperately to fix his home.
Looking at the synopsis it is evident where the story is headed but watching the movie is a whole different experience. The movie does follow the format that one would expect but somehow true great directing and genuine performances is able to truly get the audience to feel the emotions.
Many-a-great movie have been handicapped by this feeling aspect, and it is even more critical for romantic movies as without the emotion all you have is words. However, Pascal Amanfo did not permit this handicap apply to his movie. Even though it was ‘just a romantic movie’, there was immense amount of detail paid to every scene, interaction, dialogue, laughter, look and all else in between that when the inevitable finally happens the audience does not feel like “ah here we go again”. Instead you fall in love with the romance of the characters every step of the way – even though one of those characters is played by the doubtful Eddie Watson.
Eddie Watson has always been one of those actors whose reason for being on screen I could never really justify. However, after this movie it is impossible to deny that he has grown as an actor. Even though in his scenes there are moments that lapse but he holds his character together, for the most part, in a manner that if you ever told me Watson would be able to do before I’d have laughed in your face.
Nse Ikpe-Etim brings charm and grace to the character of Annette. When she struggles with her emotions, she relays that struggle in a manner that the audience can sympathize with. Purple Rose found a way of making sin look graceful with Nse Ikpe-Etim in it, but that’s not the only thing it was able to do. In reality, it is obvious that if a man is married and a woman is about to be married then their relationship together should be frowned upon. However, in Purple Rose Pascal Amanfo has found a way to make us root for sin.
No unnecessary characters, no unnecessary scenes. I have to give it to him for finding original ‘romance’ dialogues that do not rhyme with “you’re the only, in my” or belong to the cliched class of “life without you is like”.
Purple Rose brings the romance and also some comedy with Roselyn Ngissah. But above all else the most important thing it brings is the best out of all the actors involved. With Purple Rose I’ve seen actual talent in actors like Eddie and Salma who I thought literally had nothing to offer to movies.