Movies

Movie Review: ‘The Color Purple’ (2023)

TARAJI P. HENSON as Shug Avery, FANTASIA BARRINO as Celie and DANIELLE BROOKS as Sophia in The Color Purple
The Color Purple Key Art

The Color Purple, Warner Bros. reimagining of the classic 1985 drama based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by author Alice Walker, opened in theaters on Christmas Day.

About The Film: 

This bold new take on the beloved classic is directed by Blitz Bazawule and produced by Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg, Scott Sanders, and Quincy Jones.

The original film, starring Whoopi Goldberg, is described as an epic tale spanning forty years in the life of Celie, an African-American woman living in the South who survives incredible abuse and bigotry.

The Color Purple stars Taraji P. Henson as “Shug Avery,” Danielle Brooks as “Miss Sofia,” Colman Domingo as “Mister,” Corey Hawkins as “Harpo Johnson,” H.E.R. as “Squeak,” Halle Bailey as “young Nettie,” Ciara as “Nettie Harris,” Aunjanue Ellis-Taylor as “Mama,” and Fantasia Barrino (in her major motion picture debut) as “Miss Celie.”

The screenplay is by Marcus Gardley, based on the novel by Alice Walker and based on the musical stage play, book (of the musical stage play) by Marsha Norman, music and lyrics by Brenda Russell, Allee Willis, and Stephen Bray. 

The Color Purple Review:

In the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-two, an extraordinary writer by the name of Alice Walker released an incredible work of literature that would become the catalyst for one of the most influential films to reach the masses. The title: “The Color Purple.”

The movie transcends cinema. It speaks to a portion of America that feels underappreciated and overlooked. However, it elicits inspiration and triumph like a Southern Baptist church sermon when viewed.

There are many uplifting movies, but there’s only one “The Color Purple”. Successful careers have spawned because of it, notable quotes of dialogue, and even a hit Broadway play.

In the 21st century, a new version has been produced, an infusion of the novel and the Broadway play.

Will this new “Purple” reign, or will it sing Miss Celie’s blues? Let’s go!

Oooooh, ladies first, ladies first! “The Color Purple” includes a superstar ensemble cast and is directed by Blitz Bazawule.

This film is based on the novel and Broadway musical stage play. Lemme repeat that in caps; THIS FILM IS BASED ON THE NOVEL AND BROADWAY MUSICAL STAGE PLAY.

It’s not a remake of the original, a reboot of the original, or even a Hip-Hop remix of the original.

I, for one, never saw the Broadway version, but if the play is anything like this movie, I missed one helluva production!

One of the assumptions of onscreen musicals is that grandiose singing and dancing take away from the overall emotional connection and those antics overpower the plot.

Well, I shall assure every last one of y’all, that there’s a message in this music, and like a Mary J. Blige album, it will tap into all aspects of your emotions.

The new cast makes “The Color Purple” their own.

Phylicia Pearl Mpasi as a young Celie uses her facial expressions like a canvas, painting pictures of pain and timidness.

PHYLICIA PEARL MPASI as Young Celie and HALLE BAILEY as Young Nettie

Halle Bailey as the young Nettie is the opposite, using her confidence to assert strength and education to decipher southern chivalry from bulls—.

Colman Domingo as Mister is an absolute standout. He delivers the type of performance as the character Mister that will rattle your soul.

Danelle Brooks as Sofia…cot-toe-mighty! Oprah’s performance was good, Danielle’s performance is GOOD good.

Tajari P. Henson’s portrayal of Shug Avery electrifies. She’s over-the-top in front of a crowd but when alone, her grand façade breaks down into one who longs for love and acceptance.

The chemistry between her and Fantasia is undeniable.

Fantasia as Miss Celie

Speaking of Fantasia, her film debut as the main character Celie works in this iteration. Had this been a full remake of the ’85 movie, I’m not sure if her acting ability may have warranted the same praise as Whoopi Goldberg, but her musical prowess shines and she does give a great performance as a woman whose life has beaten her into submission. 

The musical numbers hit harder than a Beyoncé show!

Corey Hawkins, who plays Harpo, kills it in “Big Dog”.

“What About Love” with Celie and Shug…woooow. When Celie goes into “I’m Here” – maaaaan listen!

Choreography is bananas in all the musical selections and these performances advance the plot.

There are also cameos from some actors that you may not immediately recognize so keep an eye open.

Once again, folks, for those of you who are expecting a remake of the original, uh ruh, this ain’t it.

Many people have expressed disappointment because of this but I say, well…did you see the trailers for it? Research. Ok, I digress.

The Color Purple (2)

Anyway, “The Color Purple” is a musical that’s up there with the best of ‘em, it still emits rage, sadness, love, and ultimately triumph.

I’m co-signing it to the fullest! Check this out if you can. Go to the theater and support.

The reason your favorite actors don’t get paid what they should and get ignored is that they’re not considered box-office draws.

How do they become box-office draws? YOU go see their films – at the theater. Then, I won’t have to tell Harpo to beat you!

Feel free to share your thoughts on our review of “The Color Purple” in the comments section, and don’t forget to Subscribe to stay updated!

Newsletter
Don't Miss Our Scoop

Sign up to get the top stories in Entertainment and Celebrity News delivered to your inbox.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *