Film Reviews

The Color Purple: A Story of Triumph

Woman looking upwards with awe.

The Color Purple was a film based on the 1960s novel of the same name written by Alice Walker. The film is a period piece coming-of-age drama about the plight of one abused woman, Celie, from the age of 14 to 44. There are some underlined symbolism and imagery throughout the film.

Plus, this is a review of the film and not the novel.

The Color Purple starts with the narration from Celie and the story starts when she was 14 years old. She talks about how she was assaulted numerous times resulting in two babies she named Adam and Olivia. After the two births, she was sold at a bargain to an older man to marry. The man, initially known as Mister presumably for multiple years, originally wanted to buy her younger sister but couldn’t. Celie moves into the man’s house to cook, clean, and take care of the children. In this new arrangement, she is beaten and yelled at often. She is often told she is ugly, stupid, incapable of talking to others and can’t do better than what she has now because she is a woman.

The antagonist of the film is a man first known as Mister then Albert, Celie’s husband. The character is portrayed by Danny Glover. He is abusive and screams at Celie often. He is a bad person throughout the majority of the film.

Two women walking in a sunny purple flower field. One woman is holding a umbrella.
Screenshot of The Color Purple (1985). Shug (Margaret Avery) explains to Celie (Whoopi Goldberg) how everything in the world just wants to be loved.

The film is sad because you would wonder when will things get better, especially for Celie who, throughout her ordeal, remained optimistic,  hopeful and looking into the good of the person. Celie is a strong character who learns to stand up for herself. When the character was portrayed by Whoopi Goldberg, she made the character very innocent and naive. Her character suffers from isolation and horrible mistreatment from racism and domestic abuse from Mister, her husband.

There are a few strong female characters within the film. Three of them are intertwined in Celie’s life.

Celie holding her hands to vex someone.
Screenshot of The Color Purple (1985). Celie placing a hex on Mister.

This film is not a movie of special effects but of acting. The cinematography is very straightforward with no intricate angles, fade effects or zooming effects. The camera angles are not on display but at a distance to capture the emotions, movements and actors’ choices on film. But the makeup effects of burn scars and aging effects are pretty good.

The story is a strongly written story based on the novel by Alice Walker of the same name. The story arcs in the book are the same in the book.

Overall, the film has a feel good ending after all of the hardships and struggles that happened to them. This film will make you cry. Also, I am not going to reveal the ending because it is good to experience it yourself without many spoilers.

Genre: Drama/Coming-Of-Age
Year: 1985
Duration: 153 minutes

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Three and a half out of five stars

All screenshots are from the film

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