The 1993 classic, What’s Love Got to Do with It, is about the rise to fame of Ike and Tina Turner and their abusive and drug induced downfall. The movie stars Angela Bassett as Anna Mae Bullock, a young woman with a huge talent, who later goes on to become Tina Turner. Laurence Fishburne plays Ike Turner, a guitar playing musician who discovers Tina’s talents. Tina and Ike Turner become an overnight sensation. They are opening venues all over the country and in the mist of it all; Tina and Ike have a baby and get married.
The constant traveling and stress overcomes Tina and she winds up becoming extremely unhealthy, but that is no worry to Ike, because he needs to get her back on the road and recovered to keep them successful. Tina recovers, and instantly jumps back on the road to tour. Ike in the mean time has picked up a new drug habit and takes out his frustration for the lack of stardom he is receiving on Tina. There are a number of scenes throughout the movie, where the domestic violence between Ike and Tina is disturbing. There are numerous scenes where if he is not physically abusing her, he is emotionally abusing her.
Tina puts up with the emotional and physical strain for a number of years before she realizes that it is just not worth it anymore. One defining moment in the movie is when Ike and Tina had just had a huge physical fight in a limo outside their hotel and Tina waits until Ike is sleeping and leaves the hotel. She flees to another hotel where she tells the manager who she is and about her situation and without hesitation he takes care of her. That is the deciding moment where Tina knows she is leaving Ike.
The following scene is in a court room and a huge moment in the scene is when the judge asks Tina what she wants to keep from their marriage and she responds that she wants nothing, “Except my name. I’ll give up all that other stuff, but only if I get to keep my name. I’ve worked too hard for it, your honor. The movie ends on a positive note by showing Tina doing her own shows and becoming a success all on her own, without the power and control of Ike. Overall, the movie was a good look at the real life story of Tina Turner. I would rate this movie a 8.5.
Communications Major/ Writing for Publication Minor at Colby-Sawyer College