Run time: 141 mins
The Color Purple has always been a melodrama, and this new musical version keeps its traditions alive.
This adaptation of the Broadway musical – itself taken from Alice Walker’s 1984 novel – The Color Purple is the story of Celie (Fantasia Barrino) a black girl living in Georgia during the early 1900s. Celie is sexually assaulted by her father and forced to bear two children, then endure being separated from both them and her beloved younger sister, Nettie (Halle Bailey) as she struggles in an abusive relationship with her husband. Along the way, other black women – Shug (Taraji P. Henson) and Sofia (Danielle Brooks) show her the way to empower herself, and by the end of the story, she is free and transformed.
There is warmth and spiritedness in this lovely film, especially in the big ensemble numbers to which it gravitates so naturally, and there’s no doubting the sledgehammer force of Barrino, Henson and Brooks as the three women who win out. The rough edges of Steven Spielberg’s 1985 adaptation have been softened, but the evocative energy of this musical’s three female leads remains just as magical