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The Little Hawk

The student news site of Iowa City High School

The Little Hawk

The student news site of Iowa City High School

The Little Hawk

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Jack Rogers
Jack Rogers
Sports Co-Editor

LH MOVIE REVIEW: The Color Purple

‘The Color Purple’ has returned in movie musical form as another depressing yet powerful adaptation
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Wisdom Konu

From a book, to Broadway, to now the box office (again), The Color Purple has returned yet again in our current time of pop-culture as a musical period drama film. This movie-musical is the second film adaptation of the 1982 epistolary novel, written by Alice Walker, with its screenplay based on the stage musical. Steven Spielberg and Quincy Jones return as producers for the 2023 film, along with its Broadway producers Scott Sanders and Oprah Winfrey, the latter of whom also starred in the 1985 film. This adaptation of The Color Purple is a powerful and poignant film that in the end will color you impressed.

The Color Purple starts off devastatingly. We follow 14-year-old Celie, who lives in rural Georgia at the beginning of the 1900s. She is pregnant after being raped by her father. His rape has resulted in two children of Celie’s, who are later taken away from her. With her children taken away from her, all she is left with is her sister Nettie. But even her sister is chased away from her after she is callously given away in marriage to the superficially charming “Mister” Johnson and Celie is then left alone in an abusive marriage.

As the story continues, Celie has grown from a girl to a woman. Her life is depressing to watch, as she gets beat over and over by her husband in her marriage. Her life begins to change when her husband’s mistress, Shug Avery, comes to town. As the movie progresses, Celie begins to find her inner circle of women, along with Shug Avery, that help her overcome the abusive restraints of her marriage.

A key part to the film that contributes to the excellency of it is the music. Not only are there songs from the Broadway musical, but there are original songs as well like Halle Bailey’s Keep It Movin’, sung by both Halle Bailey and Phylicia Pearl Mpasi, who plays young Nettie. Workin’, sung by Corey Hawkins and The Color Purple Ensemble is also currently trending on TikTok. The music is banging, catchy, and tells the story in a beautiful way. The dance numbers that go along with the music are also incredibly captivating to watch.

Along with the amazing music, the powerhouse performances take center stage throughout this adaptation. Celie is played by singer Fantasia, the film being her goodbye to the character. Her Broadway debut was Celie in The Color Purple stage musical. Her performance beautifully conveys the depth of her character, bringing even more emotion to the musical as a whole. The lustrous Shug Avery is portrayed by Taraji P. Henson, who puts her heart into each and every role she plays which explains why her interpretation of Shug is nothing short of phenomenal. Danielle Brooks plays the outspoken Sofia, originally played by producer Oprah Winfrey, and her scene-stealing acting makes her a definite highlight of the film.

The Color Purple is a triumph in every manner, from its radiant song and dance numbers to its awe inspiring story. The story is not only heart-wrenching but is also a story of transformation. Celie’s journey is a journey of self-realization, where she realizes she is more than her pain and trauma. Through that, she is liberated from her abusive relationship and trauma and in the end she is finally free. A story of both pain and hurt as well as love and light, The Color Purple is an adaptation that is nothing short of amazing like its earlier versions and proves itself to be a powerful, moving movie that will leave you completely speechless.

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Wisdom Konu, Executive Editor and Culture Co-Editor
at city im like princess diana
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