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

A film about the singer Tina Turner and how she rose to stardom with her abusive husband Ike Turner and how she gained the courage to break free.

This is such a powerful film to watch, everyone knows Tina Turner’s music and possibly know that she had an abusive relationship. While I don’t think its certain which parts of this are completely true to life, that really does not matter. As the hitting and abuse scenes are all horrible to watch and have to experience, especially knowing that he did beat her up quite a lot over the years. The rape scene had to be the worst to watch and I am sure people watching will feel the same way I did trying not to actually watch it as it was just awful.

Tina Turner/Anna Mae Bullock had such an awful life with her husband Ike Turner this film tracks her rise as a singer and the years of abuse she put up with. Until she decided to do something about it, hitting back at him was the start of leaving him and the divorce. That scene in the film when they fight in the car was a fantastic moment, seeing her hit him and give him some of his own medicine. Which may sound strange, but if you watch the film you will understand how brilliant the moment is as you really do feel so bad for her and that is all just fantastic in terms of him eventually getting punched/kicked etc.

Not only was the divorce the end of such an awful period of her life, it was also the start of a new type of music for Tina, with the final scene being her performance at the Ritz. With her new rock style ready to go, with the song “What’s love got to do with it” which was such a fantastic way to tie up the film. (I have not stopped listening to that song, since watching the film). Ike watching in the audience, he tried to tell her that it would not work and her fans would not like it. But such a fantastic way to start the next chapter of her life and career, and what a career it really has been and she is very much still going strong today, touring and releasing new albums. 

The film really does take you on an emotional rollercoaster which makes you just want to watch it ,as you know what happens in the end that she does go onto create a fantastic career for herself and getting away from Ike. It is still a journey to watch it, seeing how she managed to get through things and eventually break away.

Performance wise I really do think both Angela Bassett and Laurence Fishburne really deserved their Oscar Nominations for the leading roles of Tina and Ike Turner. As they really were just fantastic, I have not looked to see who won and who else was nominated in 1994, but the winners must really have been outstanding. As I do not think you will find better performances for a pairing like this. I suppose one way to really explain how good Laurence Fishburne was it will always make me look at him in a different way now!

2 thoughts on “What’s Love Got to Do with It (1993) Review

  1. 1993 was just a good year for the women. With Holly Hunter as the eventual winner Emma Thompson [in particular], Stockhard Channing and Debra Winger were all quite good. Angela Bassett was very good as Tina Turner, some of the most authentic looking lip synching.


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