on 16 July 2004
"What do you want for mother's day?" was the question that started it. My mum answered to try and get her The Color purple on DVD. I did and I think I'm a bigger fan than her and she loves it!
The film centres around a young woman named celie played by the fanatstic Whoopi Goldberg. Celie is bullied all her life, by her step father and husband...even her own kids. Her life is miserable. the only thing that brightens it up is the bond of love she has for her sister. But, "Mr" her husband breaks that bond and Celie doesn't see Naide for many many years. There seems to be no hope for her.
The film tells the story of Celie's life from her second born child (who later is adopted despite celie's determination to keep her). Her marriage is a nightmare and we feel real sympathy for her downtrodden character and anger towards her husband (played very well by Danny Glover) It's not all doom and gloom however, as Oprah Winfrey makes a memorable appearance as Sophia, wife of Celie's step son Harpo. Don't mess with Sophia is all I can say. And DON'T call her a heffer! Celie takes solice in her friendship with her husband's mistress Shug Avery. Shug tries to coax a more confident Celie out of what she sees. Celie's only hope in life is that one day, she might see Nadie again.
This film isn't just full of the color purple, it screams with brightness and hope. The music is outstanding including the parallels drawn between America and Africa. The soundtrack had everything...lazy music which suggests the hot days on Mr's farm and the music of the African safari. There is also a strong gospel theme with some uplifting music to partner the hope of the film. A lot of characters have inner demons to fight: Shug, Celie, Sophia, Harpo...even Mr. As to who conqurs those demons I won't say.
This film isn't just for those looking for a heart warming story of hope. It can be pretty cruel and at times I was almost moved to tears (christmas as Sophia's). There are no loose ends left in this film. we know exactly what happens to all the amin characters and most end up in a different situation to what they started out in. Simply superb.
on 9 February 2006
Not being a very big spielberg fan (shock)i was roped into watching this so called "womans" film with a friend of mine i was very sceptical about the film subject and some of the actors and actresses playing the roles. However it was one of the best film experiences i have encountered moving in some places and harrowing in others spielberg has delivered an absolute classic which touches the heart and handles the difficult subject matter with care and precision.whoopi goldberg gives an outstanding peformance and was well worthy of her oscar nomination and was very unlucky not to win it.Add a very good danny glover and a fantastic performance by oprah winfrey and you have a great modern day classic. exceptional movie, exceptional acting,exceptional viewing .
on 24 August 2004
Watching Color Purple is indulging yourself in cinema at its charming best-- lovable, well-rounded, deeply emotional and very grounding. Yes, the characters are as stereotypical as stereotypical can be, and there's a lot of theatrical-isque role-play; but what matters the most is that the film's got its heart in the right place and that's what makes it so imminently watchable.
Spielberg's direction is top-notch as he extracts some of the most inspiring performances from the whole cast. Right from Whoopi's Goldberg sympathetic Celie to Oprah Winfrey's riotous Sofia to Danny Glover's menacing Albert to Margaret Avery's sensuous Shug to Akosua's earthy Nettie... every character's given ample time and space to develop and register an impact, and that's precisely what they do. Of all the threads that revolve around the debauched status of women --- domestic violence, girl infanticide, illiteracy, forced marriages, racism-- what emerges as an absolute winner is the no-holds-barred love of the two sisters-- Celie and Nettie.
What also works for the film is its makers' dedication to set it up in all the rusticity, all the wilderness and rawness of down South and Africa --- the cinematography and the background music is so perfect and so timeless, it doesn't feel a bit dated. The film's an absolute family entertainment (though some scenes can be rather too raw and graphical for teeny-weenies) and its message of love, sacrifice, sincerity and honesty redeeming even the ugliest of existences; of realising one's inside beauty and confidence is really strengthening. Its a yarn well spun and with something so pure, its really hard to find fault with. Maybe the whopping 2.5 hours somewhat blunt the overall effect, but the leisurely mood and the numerous endearing characters keep the tension factor much low and subtle.
Give this one a try... rest assured you'll find yourself laughing and crying with the colourful characters!
on 27 October 2000
The film is originally adapted from a book by Alice Walker. The film is about Celie a young black woman, who is abused by her step-farther and becomes pregnant by him, who promptly sells the baby. Celie is later quickly married off to a man that considers her to be worthless and soon her abuse occurs again. She has become a slave to her husband, there is some joy when Nettie her sister comes to stay but soon is forced out by mister (celie's husband). Celie although devestated by their seperation, finds some comfort in visiting friends, but her battle with her husband continues. The only hope she keeps is hearing from her sister. The film is touching and beautifully done, i can not think of anything to fault it. It is a timeless classic, powerfull and moving. Definetly one to watch.
on 19 July 2006
If your idea of a good film is shootings, murders, explosions and vice, it may not be for you. If you have other interests then it IS! The film should have cleaned up at the oscars but the predominantly black cast may have been why it didnt. The film studies mens attitude to women at the time and white to black. Femenists will be seething and chauvanists may think again. Oprah Winfrey and Whoopie Goldberg are no less than sensational in their roles.
All creeds and colours over 14 should see this! 100 years has changed us all for the better.....or has it?
on 15 January 2001
If you fail to be moved by the sheer power of this film, I have no faith left in humanity. The acting, cinematography, scripting and direction is superb. If you have had no contact with the story before, the mix of Oprah Whinfrey, Whoopi Goldberg & steven Spielberg may seem a strange combination, but believe me it works. this film is spell bounding, makes your brain race and your heart weep. One of the most human,moving, blood boiling, heart breaking films of all time. Buy it. Restore your faith in humanity.
on 13 March 2007
Celie is a young girl who has a tough life in Georgia, pregnant at 14 with her father's child; the death of her mother and being sold off in a forced marriage with Mr. (who in the film is given the first name, Albert). She yearns for a better life and has nobody in the whole world-expect her sister, Nettie-who truly believes in her........
The Color Purple was actually a big hit at the box office when originally released in 1985 and at least set to win the top prize at the academy awards-the best picture had it not been for a controversial backlash. Sadly, this has been dug in the ground and forgotten about.
Although the book we know acts as a diary for Celie's frustation against the world, only some of her letters remain in the cut (even though a voice over is heard for the majority of the film where the other times, the action is visual) which includes the death of her mother; being sold off to Mr and her times with Shug Avery.
Spielberg treats the material very carefully, adding his unique magic (although sometimes it is notable that it becomes uncomfortable and a tad ridiculous) heartbreak of their lives desperate to live seperate identites. There is a lot of material that is cut from this adaption that includes Nettie's missionary time in a greater light; acknowliding Celie's sexuality (expect for some clues that are still apparent), her relationship with Shug and forgiveness with Mr.
Spielberg tries his best to make this film accessible for the sort that may never read the book or find it too hard-going and depressing which at times it can become. Generally, he takes the route of the relation and bonding of Celie and her sister, Nellie to emphasise their closeness which is at the heart (even though the characters of Shug Avery, Sofia and Harpo receive a lot of screen time and attention) to help relieve the viewer from the distressing pain that Celie suffers from the hands of Mr, if only necessary or appropriate. Quincy Jones (writing two songs alongside Lionel Ritchie) contributes a brillant score, which was probably the result of the release of the musical.
However, despite being a very fine and admirable adaption, the film strays away from the book which loses some of the charm, honesty and hope plus the brave absent of stereotype attitudes of men where Walker is keen to tell us there are always two sides to the story they face in their lifetime-a massive blow. Speilberg however does make this entralling and more entertaining than it should be and he certainly makes good use of the locations especially the warm red sun and bright striking purple fields.
I recently read the book, and that inspired me to watch the film - I'm so glad that I did. The film (150 minutes) is very true to the storyline of the book.
My advice would be to watch the Bluray version; it's just stunning and wonderful to watch. There have been some great films about the `South' over the years: Roots, Deliverance, A Time to Kill, Django, The Help & 12 Years a Slave, to mention but a few. However, this is right up there with any of them and five stars all the way. Of course, all of these films are different; I was trying to think of what made this film so different - even though the theme is fairly typical of the `South'. The film has sex, but it is not overly done, it has violence, but it is not overly done either. It typically has the African American despair, but also much pluck too. Several characters refuse to be down-trodden, even by their own? Whilst many of its themes are grim, the film remains light with much humour - in short it's just a wonderful story.
All the characters are compelling and suck you right in, they are superbly acted by all. For me the film has everything, without the trendy violence, explicit sexual scenes and the usual profanities?
Spielberg has made some outstanding films over the years, but it is hard think of one, that will leave you as uplifted, at the end, as this one?
It was `nominated' for an unprecedented eleven academy awards but mind -numbingly won none! I think one can make their own conclusions about that?
on 20 October 2005
This film, I thought was amazing. If you like deep and emotional films this one is for you, keep a box of hankies and a box of chocs by your side and you have the makings of a cozy night in, either by yourself or with your girlfriends. Well made, great acting.
on 12 March 2016
The adaptation is a bit clumsy or saccharine in places but does a good job of portraying what is essentially a horrific set of stories of the sorts of things that have really happened to people through history in many cultures around the world. They are fairly horrific to our 21st Century comfortable lives in developed countries with all the political correctness, clicktivism and distorted journalism, but we are seeing more and more of these back to basic instincts / base drives / survival / extremism being thrust into the news. The book is better and written as a series of letters to God. Be kind and pay it forward through any means including Suspended Coffees or Detroit Soup. This film made me cry at the end and think it always will. Make sure there are clean hankies and a plentiful supply of good chocolate on hand before you press play.