(Review originally written at 1 August 2010)

There is plenty wrong with this movie as a biopic, however when you look at it as purely being a movie, it is a surprisingly great one.

I never really considered Tina Turner to be such a good subject for a biopic, especially not in the '90's. First of all she was still alive and at an all time popular height and second of all, she in my opinion is not a that big star, when compared to all other people who get a biopic made about them. But I must say that after seeing this movie i have a whole lot more respect for her by now and I was definitely wrong about her career and life not being worthy or interesting enough for making a movie about it.

The movie was a positive surprise. But nevertheless there still is plenty wrong with it as a biopic. It suffers from lots of the stuff other genre movies often suffer from. Thing with biopics often is that you try to capture a persons entire life and career into a 2 hour long movie. This means some stuff will often get rushed and shoved down your throat. You often just have to take things for granted, without them ever getting developed properly and convincing enough, like would be the case in a normal film drama about a normal average, every day person. And yes, this happens quite a lot in this movie. It often makes some very sudden jumps with its story and make jumps in time as well. We just never get to see how popular Tina Tuner is with the public and some things seem to happen very randomly in this movie, just because they happened in her real life as well. It at times feels like some stuff really got crow-bared into the film. They movie because of that also feels quite distant at times as a biopic, since you don't ever get the feeling you are really getting into the character.

But having said all that, the movie still works out great. The story is always intriguing and keeps you interest throughout. It's also really fast-going, which makes this a bit of a distant one when it comes down to its emotions and characters but at the same time keeps this movie consistently good to watch, since you never get bored with things.

It's also true that it are the actors performance that keep the movie going and make this a great watch. Angela Bassett really shines and she deserved her Oscar nomination. Same goes for Laurence Fishburne as the abusive Ike Turner, who is perhaps the foremost reason why this movie remains such a good and interesting watch. His character, no matter how awful he is, is still what gives the story as well as the Tina Turner some real depth. Because lets face it, would Tina Turner's life had been interesting enough for a biopic if she had never met Ike? I really don't think so.

But of course the movie does not only focus on her personal life but also her career. It's quite fascination to see how she started out and at several points at her career had to start all over again but every time came back stronger, as a performer and person as well. It's why I now have so much more respect for her after seeing this movie. I now kind of wished I would had gone to her concert when she was in town here a decade ago. Besides, I really don't think you have to be a fan of her music in order to enjoy and appreciate her incredible stage presence and performance. Same sort of goes for this movie. You really don't have to be that much in Tina Turner in order to really like and appreciate this movie.


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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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