The Color Purple (1985) Review
Celie Johnson has had to fight her whole life to just stay alive with abuse from her father and then forced to marry Albert who continues the abuse. It is a story about hope and being able to find the courage to stand up for yourself.
It has been a very long time since I lasted watched this film, first coming across it after reading the book for A Level English Literature and seeing it linked to that. I doubt at the time I appreciated anything about it in all honesty. But watching it again now I can truly understand just why it received so many Oscar nominations, it is a very well made and well acted film.
Don’t get me wrong though most of it is not very nice to watch in terms of the story and the abuse that goes on in the film. Apparently in the South at this time it was perfectly fine for a man to hit and beat up his wife. No one would really care very much about it either. Celie has suffered her entire life and was repeatedly raped by her father and even had two children that were taken away as soon as they were born. She was not the smartest of girls/women but her sister Nettie was determined to help her with that and taught her to read. She had more fight in her against men and as she managed to get Albert away from her she was then sent away.
Celie was properly alone at that point, but this is when we should be taught never to give up hope. That someone when you need them the most will come along and change everything. It looked as though Sofia was going to be the person to do that for Celie but somethings just didn’t quite work out, a very strong and impressive character though. Another Shug Avery who her husband was very open about still seeing, became that person. After a horrible first meeting she wants to then help her break free of the existence that is her life.
It is fantastic to see the character grow and really gets her moment to stand out and be counted in one of the final scenes. The film will break your heart over and over again and that is just one of the reasons it is so powerful. Whoopi Goldberg is fantastic as Celie especially when you probably link her to comedy roles rather this serious one. She really does deserve so much credit for it. Along with Oprah Winfrey and Margaret Avery, two powerful characters who needed incredible performances and that is certainly what we got from them. It really is fantastic to see Oprah in film, as she always puts in such emotional and amazing performances.
So while this is not an easy watch at times it does leave you wanting to see exactly what is going to happen. Will we get happy moments and will it turn out well in the end, although with everything that has previously happened can anything feel good and nice? I guess some of the small things we find out does make a couple of situations a little bit better. But certainly for Celie will she ever be able to properly have her own life? A very good film from Spielberg with the perfect mix of drama and the music is just worked into the film so well.