THE COLOR PURPLE – Is True to the Book, The Musical, the 1985 Film, the Audience

The color purple symbolizes freedom, courage, and transformation. The 2023 film is all that and more. It is hard for a film to top the one that preceded it, and I wouldn’t say that the 2023 version tops the 1985 film or that the film is better than the Broadway Musical which began in 2001. This film is a great blend of them all and still keeps the characters, story, and emotions

Alice Walker wrote in her book published in 1982 in the forefront. This is not a musical film, it is a film with music, and great music at that.  There are new songs blended with the ones we have grown to love.

The cast is phenomenal and blends like a well-seasoned stew. With Steven Spielberg, Quincy Jones, Scott Sanders, and Oprah Winfrey as producers, I did not doubt that it would be on point. I don’t have time or room to write about my favorite things in the film but one person that stood out to me was Phylicia Pearl Mposi as young Celie. Her performance was striking and stood out.  It is her first feature film, and you would never know it.

Taraji P. Henson as Sug Avery was amazing.  I didn’t know she could sing and dance like that. She gave it. Danielle Brooks as Sophia (which is my favorite character from the book and both films.) Oh, my goodness she brought this feisty, spirited, loving woman to life.  And yes, most of the women in the theater started reciting the “All My Life” speech along with her.  It was a true moment. Colman Domingo as Albert “Mister” Johnson, Corey Hawkins as Harpo, and Deon Cole as Alphonso are not just men in the film for everyone to hate and make the women look strong, they all brought different layers to their characters. Okay, Dion Cole played his part too well.  I couldn’t stand Alphonso.

I can’t close out on this without mentioning the amazing Louis Gossett, Jr. as Mr. Johnson, Mister’s daddy.  I didn’t think anyone could be as nasty as Adolph Caesar as Mr. Johnson in the 1985 film but Louis Gossett, Jr was pretty mean.

The set, costumes, and the use of those huge, hundreds of years old “storytelling” trees were magical. After seeing this is a great film to have warm conversations about over dessert and libations.. 

When Celie began singing “The Color Purple” at the end of the film I felt a warmness in my heart. It was so beautiful and just the right touch. See THE COLOR PURPLE on the big screen.

I give it 5 out of 5 winks of the EYE

Until next time, keep your EYE to the sky!