The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985) Review

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In New Jersey in 1935 an unhappily married woman Cecilia spends the majority of her time forgetting life at the cinema, falling in love with Tom Baxter a character in the film who one day just walks right out of the screen to be with her.

Yes, really that is the plot of this film. But somehow it actually works out very well, who hasn’t wished a character in a film could not be real and come into their lives. I am sure everyone has thought that at least once when watching a film with an incredible character in it.

Cecilia really does not have a good day to day life with an abusive husband who does not really make any effort to hide any of the affairs he has, quite horrible to watch in all honesty knowing she cannot do anything about it at all. I thought Mia Farrow was fantastic in the lead role and did very well to carry the majority of the film. To then be joined by Jeff Daniels, who again put in a top performance. Having to take on two parts Tom the character from the film and then Gil Shepherd the actor who took on the role. Yes, that does sound quite complicated but it makes perfect sense when watching the film.

I really enjoyed the scenes of panic as the rest of the characters on the screen at the cinema could no longer act out the film due to missing a key part of the story. Then seeing people just sitting watching them, really does make you think about the whole cinema experience. Especially with the humour of remembering that it is just a film, but people being reluctant to just turn it off because it had been so popular.

I struggle with Woody Allen films so happy to say I made it though this one, but starting to think that it’s actually him that I do not like watching rather than the interesting stories and characters he manages to create. Don’t let the strange plot put you off giving this one a chance as I really do think it is worth the watch, if not just for Farrow and Daniels but the idea of a character entering the real world.

The real world has plenty of issues and problems for a film character and that certainly created some very amusing moments and the lighthearted comic relief at times during the film. Showing just why people love going to the movies to help escape from life with Cecilia liking that comfort more than her own tough life.

Isn’t that the main point of watching a film? To forget about everything for a couple of hours and enjoy the stories and magic that appear on a screen. Well, I certainly think so and this one has enough magic to be able to do just that.

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