I got a chance to see For Colored Girls with my women’s group on opening night. I was very curious about this film, for several reasons. I’ve never read the play or seen it performed, but it was one of those things that I had always known about, you know? After the controversy & outcry about Tyler Perry presenting the work on the screen, I wasn’t planning to go see it. Y’all already know how I feel about Tyler Perry & his crap he pretends are films. But a review of the movie from one of my favorite bloggers made me decide to give it a chance.
The film opens & dives right into the poetry & introducing the characters & how they are related. We see Thandie w/the random dude in her apartment, Phylicia being a busy-body, Kimberly dealing w/her crazy lover, etc. I did like how Perry introduced each woman in a way that showed how they were all interconnected. Off jump tho, some characters are portrayed as “good” or “bad” based on whatever their current situation is, which I found interesting.
The most beautiful part of the film is the poetry. I’m not even a poetry fan, but I found the words so beautiful, so lush, so dense. There were so many layers there in the words, listening to them once wasn’t enough time to fully absorb the words & dissect their meaning. Words on a page are one thing, words spoken are another, and there was so much more there in the words when they were spoken on the screen by such amazing actresses.
This movie is painful – BE PREPARED! Its emotional. There are two scenes in the film that affected me deeply and I shed a few tears. There’s a lot here in this film, and its very heavy. Sometimes it feels like too much. But it’s not solely a “woe is the Black woman” pity party either. For me, the poetry spoke to the experience of the Black woman – we deal with a lot, but it’s not all sorrow & pain, we have joy as well.
The choice of actresses for this film was amazing…even Janet held her own. Knowing that Mariah Carey was originally cast in this film, I don’t know if she could have pulled off the character as well as Thandie Newton did. I already loved Kerry Washington, Anika Noni Rose, and Kimberly Elise & this film just reinforced my love for them.
As much as I enjoyed the film, I worried that some of it was lost on the audience. There were scenes in the film that the audience laughed at, that I didn’t find humorous at all. And I think some folks weren’t able to absorb the gravity of the topics and what the poetry was trying to convey. It’s so deep, it requires more than just a casual viewing for entertainment purposes.
Overall, I enjoyed the film. I enjoyed the poetry much more than I enjoyed Tyler Perry’s writing. It came together well & I appreciate it for what it is.
Have you seen For Colored Girls? What was your reaction?