“The color purple” is a breath-taking historical drama starring Whoopi Goldberg as Celie the main protagonist directed by Steven Spielberg. This movie claimed many prestigious awards like Golden Globe Award for Best Actress, Blue Ribbon Award for Best Foreign Film, etc. The world premiere occurred on December 18, 1985.
The plot is based on the Pulitzer prize-winning 1982 novel “The color purple” by Alice Walker. I always enjoyed the script, the idea of how a woman who is timid, terrified is converted to a strong independent personality at the end of the movie.
Celie is a woman cruelly treated by the world, a shy, frightened little girl whose life consists mostly of eluding the men who want to rape and beat her. As a young teenager, she is raped by the man she takes to be her father, and both of her babies a son and a daughter are taken away from her. Then after this Celie is married off to Albert by her stepfather, Albert- a brutal farmer, who beat her, uses her as a servant and use her as an object to satisfy his lust and also convinces her she is ugly.
There are many emotional scenes in this movie but for me, the scene that pulled my heartstrings is where Celie is separated from her sister Nettie-the one person who loves Celie, who understands Celie. Nettie is one of the beautiful things Celie has in her life. When her father tries to assault her, she flees to Celie for safety now then Albert tries to assault her but when she fights him off, he throws her from his house. This scene is so much emotional, powerful and real. Hats off to the actors Deserta Jackson and Akosua Busia who played young Celie and Nettie, they both are so good in the movie.
The climax in the movie comes when two powerful, strong independent women came to Celie’s life. One is Sofia who is married to Harpo (son of Albert from his first wife) and the other women is Shug Avery the one person Albert cherishes in his life. Shug a jazz singer who remains Albert’s one and only true love. Shug could see the beauty beneath Celie’s fear, she became the transformative power in Celie’s life.
One of the most joyous experiences I have in the movie is the scene where Shug tells Celie “Oh miss Celie why you always cover up your smile, show me that pretty smile” and for the first time Celie laughed her heart out and this scene is the favorite and most joyous scene of mine.
This movie has many scenes where feminist criticism is shown I.e. the inequality between the sexes, the injustice of domestic and sexual abuse, and women’s struggle for recognition as individuals who deserve fair and equal treatment. Some of the scenes are: –
- Violence by males upon females is a common occurrence even in relationships that are quite loving, like that between Harpo and his wife Sofia. He beats her because a woman is supposed to mind a man. Beating a wife is regarded as an acceptable way to assert male authority.
- Women are not allowed to laugh at a man like in the scene where Celie passed comments on Albert and every woman present there starts laughing at Albert, Harpo says “Shut up! It’s bad luck for a woman to laugh at the man.”
The most powerful and turning point of the movie is when Shug finds out about Nettie’s letter, Celie discovered that her children and her sister is alive whom she thought had died.
Now, Celie becomes so powerful that she questioned Albert about the letters and finally takes a stand for herself and told Albert that she is leaving him and going with Shug. They both have a war of words in which again Albert tries to convince Celie he says “You’re black, you’re poor, you’re ugly, you’re a woman! You’re nothing!” to which Celie replied “Until you do right by me everything you even think about gonna fail! I’m poor, black, I may even be ugly. But dear god, I’m here.” This is the favorite dialog of mine in the movie. This particular dialog shows how a shy, frightened woman is transformed into a strong personality and speaks for her own rights.
Hats off to the director and cast especially Whoopi Goldberg who played Celie. When a movie character is really working, we become that character. That’s what the movies offer: Escapism into lives other than our own. For a time during watching “The color purple” my mind, my soul connects with the character Celie as I empathize with her struggle and her victory at the end.
This movie justifies its main central idea I.e. self-discovery, womanhood- how a woman’s mutual sympathy and support can act as a defense against the oppression of men.
Really loved the movie!! Hope you all will enjoy the movie.