Combustible Celluloid Review - The Color Purple (2023), Marcus Gardley, based on the musical by Brenda Russell, Allee Willis, Stephen Bray, Marsha Norman, and on the novel by Alice Walker, Blitz Bazawule, Fantasia Barrino, Taraji P. Henson, Danielle Brooks, Colman Domingo, Corey Hawkins, H.E.R., Halle Bailey, Louis Gossett Jr., Phylicia Pearl Mpasi, Ciara, Jon Batiste, Aunjanue Ellis-Taylor
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With: Fantasia Barrino, Taraji P. Henson, Danielle Brooks, Colman Domingo, Corey Hawkins, H.E.R., Halle Bailey, Louis Gossett Jr., Phylicia Pearl Mpasi, Ciara, Jon Batiste, Aunjanue Ellis-Taylor
Written by: Marcus Gardley, based on the musical by Brenda Russell, Allee Willis, Stephen Bray, Marsha Norman, and on the novel by Alice Walker
Directed by: Blitz Bazawule
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for mature thematic content, sexual content, violence and language
Running Time: 141
Date: 12/25/2023
IMDB

The Color Purple (2023)

2 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Shug Coated

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Directed by Blitz Bazawule and based on the Broadway musical, which was in turn based on Steven Spielberg's 1985 film and on Alice Walker's Pulitzer Prize-winning 1982 novel, The Color Purple seems hamstrung with the effort of deciding what it wants to be. It's caught between the stage and the screen, owing something both to the musical and to Spielberg, but unable to contribute much of anything of its own. It contains fine performances: Danielle Brooks is earning acclaim for her portrayal of Sofia, but Oprah Winfrey played the role with equal power in 1985. The same could be said for any of the roles. Only Taraji P. Henson brings a little something new to her role as Shug Avery. As for the music, it's not terribly memorable, except for one happy little tune ("Keep It Movin'") sung by Nettie (Halle Bailey) to Celie (Fantasia Barrino). (Ironically, it's the "new" song inserted into the soundtrack so that it can be eligible for Oscar consideration.) Perhaps the music has more impact on the stage. In any case, despite its quality and professionalism, like most movie versions of Broadway shows based on earlier movies, this one is not really needed.

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