Too beautiful for words: ‘The Color Purple’ perfectly portrayed

Too beautiful for words: ‘The Color Purple’ perfectly portrayed

Based on the musical adaptation, and reimagined from the 1985 film version, “The Color Purple” released on Oct. 7, 2023. Put in the hands of director Blitz Bazawule, this fictional coming-of-age musical film had a long line of performances to follow. Prior to its on-screen portrayal, this narrative originated as a Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award winning novel in 1982. Given the praise and attention “The Color Purple” has drawn to its name through each form of storytelling, this version was highly anticipated.

Beginning a story that stretches 40 years, we are introduced to the African American protagonist, Celie (Fantasia Barrino) who lives in the South with her family and is primarily shown with her sister Nettie (Halle Bailey). As a pregnant teenager, forbidden from keeping her children, Celie struggles with an abusive father who puts her in situations that ultimately lead her to getting married off to a demeaning man more than twice her age, Albert Johnson (Danny Glover). Despite doing everything she can to hang on to the one person she has left with her that she truly cares for, Celie’s sister is forced to part ways soon after the marriage. The story continues to follow Celie’s constant battle with the hardships she is faced with, while meeting women along the way who empower each other to find self-worth within themselves. The entire film powerfully paints themes of racism, sexism, sexuality, abuse (specifically towards female African Americans) and the list continues, all in merely two and a half hours.

Rolling Stone

Capturing the true essence of the storyline and the emotions it entails, the visuals kept my eyes on the screen at all times. The cinematography alone was done so alluringly with colors that complemented the feeling of the scenes, while significantly enhancing the setting. It was noticeable that every single camera angle had a purpose and no shots included anything that wasn’t a vital piece of the story. When I wasn’t fixated on the beauty of the camerawork, I had all attention toward the choreography. I enjoyed how the amount of energy and passion typically more represented in stage productions wasn’t taken away when put on screen. The combination of intricacy and simplicity in different moments really allowed for the story to be told in an effective manner.

The entire soundtrack captures everything that visuals can’t. Almost immediately kicking off the production with an outstandingly vibrant ensemble performance, “Mysterious Ways” reels in the viewer for the ride that awaits. A soulful ballad sung by Fantasia Barrino, “Lily of the Field”, left me absolutely speechless and with a new favorite musical theater song. Additional tracks that captured that level of intensity and soul include “Too Beautiful for Words”, “What About Love”, “Hell No!” and, of course, the title track “The Color Purple.”

Overall, this film paints a heartbreaking tale in such a beautiful and impactful way. As it is identified and personified through the movie, the power of the title “The Color Purple” lies behind the fact that the color itself is beautiful, but rare. The amount of soul, love, and dedication that went into making this film is definitely reflected in the production and is a movie-musical must see.

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About the Contributor
Rylie Lockerman, Editor
Rylie Lockerman is a Senior and is beyond excited to serve on the editorial board as the multimedia editor for her second year on staff. Apart from newspaper, she participates in Student council, theater, and National English Honor Society. In her free time, Rylie enjoys writing scripts/books, painting, listening to pop and alternative music, and watching Friends.

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