Saturday, November 6, 2010

For Colored Girls and Every Girl


Tyler Perry's poetic, dramatic For Colored Girls is simply beautiful. It's also so heartbreaking. The movie, based on the play For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf, tells the tragic stories of 9 African American women (played amazingly and strongly by Janet Jackson, Whoopi Goldberg, Thandie Newton, Kimberly Elise, Kerry Washington, Loretta Devine, Phylicia Rashad, Anika Noni Rose and Tessa Thompson) brought together as they try to make sense and heal from the worst of the worst that has been bestowed upon them.
As hard as is to watch at times, as a whole it's a therapeutic film that all women should go see.
If any film of 2010 deserves to win an Oscar it's For Colored Girls.

For Colored Girls is the first film I've seen all year that I believe is deserving of an Oscar win for Best Picture. 
And if the entire cast could receive an individual Oscar, this cast is worthy enough to.
It's that good--- extremely well-acted, unique story-telling, a real and raw script and just an engaging treat to watch.
Producer, director, screenwriter and actor Tyler Perry (Madea series) had done an outstanding job bringing Ntozake Shange's celebrated play For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf to life onto the movie screen.
The cast is a dream, with some of the best African American actresses in Hollywood playing lead roles: a stony Janet Jackson (Poetic Justice, Why Did I Get Married?/Too?) as Jo, a rich, cold-hearted unhappily married woman, a zany dressed in all white Whoopi Goldberg (Sister Act, The Color Purple) as Alice, a crazy religious mother, a wildly out of character Thandie Newton (Crash, 2012) as Tangie, a nymphomaniac and eldest daughter of Alice, an emotion-filled Kimberly Elise (Set It Off, John Q) as Crystal, an abused wife and mother of two, a smiley, pretty Anika Noni Rose (The Princess and the Frog, Dreamgirls) as Yasmine, a gifted ballet dancer, a colorful soprano voiced Loretta Devine (Death at a Funeral (2010), Woman Thou Art Loosed) as Juanita, a health worker who's in love with a womanizer, a mother-esque Phylicia Rashad (The Cosby Show t.v. series) as Gilda, the nosy neighbor of Tangie and Crystal, a gloom faced Kerry Washington (I Think I Love My Wife, Lakeview Terrace) as Kelly, a social worker who can't have kids and up-and-coming actress--- a cute, energetic Tessa Thompson as Nyla, a dancer in Yasmine's class and the sister of Tangie.
Some of the best acting ever is showcased when each of the women break out into hypnotic, beautiful monologues of poetry as their characters are at their most vulnerable moments.
All the women are harboring secrets and deal with some very painful, sad and terrible situations in the film.
You feel for each and every one of them to the point of tears, anger and shock.
*SPOILERS: One woman is raped (in a shocking scene which is so shocking because the guy who date-rapes her seemed like a good guy), another woman's children are killed in front of her by their father (such a jaw-dropping horrific scene), another woman goes to get a back alley (literally) abortion in the most dirtiest accommodations by the creepiest abortionist (a chilling, the singer Macy Gray) and another woman contacts HIV from her in-the-closet gay husband.*
Yes, but at the same time, it has to be, especially with the tragedies these characters face.
The men in For Colored Girls did excellent jobs portraying their characters as well, especially the bad characters--- they couldn't have been easy to play. 
Michael Ealy (Takers, Barbershop series) scarily plays Beau, the abusive, alcoholic husband of Crystal. Khalil Kain (Girlfriends t.v. series) is Bill, the not-as-he-seems man Yasmine dates. Omari Hardwick (The A-Team, Kick-Ass) is Carl, the in-the-closet gay husband of Jo. Hill Harper (Soul Food t.v. series) plays Donald, a cop and partner of Kelly, and is the only good guy in the film--- followed perhaps next by the can't-stop-cheating Frank, Juanita's partner, played by Richard Lawson (How Stella Got Her Groove Back).
Is For Colored Girls, 1995's Waiting To Exhale for this generation of African American women?
Themes of sisterhood and man-bashing are within For Colored Girls just the same.
But For Colored Girls explores more of learning to love one's own-self and what that means when you're a woman and African American.
Although For Colored Girls is aimed at African American women, every woman of any color can relate to most of the issues the film touches upon.
I was happy to see not only black women but other races of women at the showing I was at. 
Maybe this is because For Colored Girls deals with so many themes that every woman can at relate to at least one of them.
It's a brave, beautiful, touching film that is made especially for colored girls and for every girl.
Here's to an Oscar!


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