For Colored Girls is a movie based on Ntozake Shange’s play For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When The Rainbow Is Enuf — the movie is evocative and extremely brutal in its realism as it portrays the lives of its protagonists through various experiences. These strong, empowered, independent, intellectual African American women attempt to seize life at its roots and put a stamp in society where prejudices and injustices lurk about. All our protagonists have distinctive personalities; none is like the other but that is the superficial examination — the true context breaks like a wave beautifully colouring the landscape. Each protagonist is represented by a colour — Alice (Whoopi Goldberg) embodies white, Gilda (Phylicia Rashad) embodies gray, Juanita (Loretta Devine) represents green, Kelly (Kerry Washington) is blue, Jo/Joanna (Janet Jackson) is red, Tangie (Thandie Newton) is orange, Yasmine (Anika Noni Rose) is yellow, Nyla (Tessa Thompson) is purple and Crystal (Kimberly Elise) symbolizes brown.
The women at first are either isolated or know each other on a surface position but soon as the story progresses like the colours of the rainbow they begin to flourish together and mesh as one with renewed strength and absolutely laudable stamina. The tale focuses on sexual and physical abuse, rape, abortion, medical welfare and the tightening relationships that the protagonists go through. The movie opens with dilemmas our characters are facing; unescapable situations it seems — Tangie is Alice’s daughter but obviously shows no respect for her, Alice tries her hardest to keep on believing in her religion but taking care of her daughters, Nyla is a dancer with a prospective future but is also forlorn, Yasmine is a vibrant dancer but must struggle, Jo is attempting to reconcile with her husband, Crystal does not know what to do with her abusive spouse and her kids, Juanita tries to do the right things for her community, Kelly does as well but strives to keep her past behind and Gilda is a maternal figure but also a strict landlady trying her hardest to keep her tenants in line. Prematurely most of the women are not apposites but opposites — they rage on with their codes and philosophies, and most don’t care even if it kills them. However, throughout the movie these strong protagonists realize that their dependencies on useless objects or back-stabbing people are in conflict with who they want to be — to each is her own storm through which they must survive to reach the rainbow.
The portrayal by all actresses were so vibrant and exquisite that I was moved — as Google dictionary/Wikipedia even states that Ntozake Shange’s art form birthed in this piece, the “choreopoem”, is a fusion of various devices and I saw the poetry in motion with full attention and enjoying every moment. Each word, each dialogue worked to its best effects and the cast was incredible in performing them. As usual, Thandie Newton blew me with her strategic tempos at being Tangie — at a time coquette, at a time vulnerable, at a time ferocious as she challenges men for their double standards, at a time dangerous and strong and unique in a beautiful way. Kerry Washington does her best in being the confident and intelligent girl who also, for youth and naivety, is exposed to grim realities but obviously headstrong enough to plough and plough. Whoopi Goldberg will forever be the charming entertainer whose lips as they move create ripples in each letter, Janet Jackson dives energetically into her character persona and she can really deliver something realistically shaped.
All I ca say is that I was really gripped on by seeing this movie and I want to read the play
I think this movie is for people who don’t mind independent thinking and out of mainstream plots.
- Google Dictionary