“The Color Purple (2023): A Bold New Take”

The 2023 version of “The Color Purple,” directed by Blitz Bazawule, has caused controversy. The movie claims to be “A bold new take on the beloved classic,” leaving many to question whether it is possible to create something as timeless as the original from 1985. Initially, I too had doubts about the 2023 release, but after watching it myself, I think there should be more hype surrounding this movie because of its gut-wrenching storyline and unique portrayal. 

The film revolves around the life of Celie Harris, portrayed by Fantasia Barrino, an African-American woman in the early 20th century who faces a series of challenging circumstances. The movie unfolds the layers of Celie’s life through musical sections, which I feel were crucial to telling her story. 

Her story depicts the harsh realities of domestic abuse, sexual assault, and lack of rights for women. Fantasia’s performance is nothing short of extraordinary, capturing the essence of Celie’s resilience and growth portrayed in the original film and novel by Alice Walker. 

The other characters are equally outstanding as Celie. Celie’s friend, Sophia, played by Danielle Brooks, has a story just as intriguing. Her character is the opposite of Celie, being loud, demanding, and bold. She doesn’t let anyone tell her what to do, not even her husband. This is further shown by one of the songs she sings named “Hell No!” which she uses to take a stand against the men in her life who have tried to abuse her. Danielle Brooks’ performance as Sophia was remarkable, and I’m not surprised by her recent Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress. 

Sophia is not the only character in the movie who stands for the empowerment of women. The character Shug Avery, portrayed by Taraji P. Henson, also promotes independence. In the movie, she acts as a famous singer who is loved by all, becoming close friends with Celie alongside Sophia. Sophia and Shug play a significant role in helping Celie on a transformative journey towards self-discovery and empowerment apart from her husband. 

I would rate this movie 4.75/5 because I was thoroughly impressed by the portrayal of the characters. The movie has a lighter tone due to the singing, which I feel makes it easier to watch in comparison to the original film. It’s very easy to compare this film to the original 1985 release, but I think this movie stands on its own. Its musical components convey the inner thoughts of Celie, which sets it apart from the original that uses voice overs instead. 

Even though the movies have the same storyline as the novel, they are portrayed differently, which is why I believe both renditions of “The Color Purple” cannot be compared. The sisterhood between Celie, Sophia, and Shug is unparalleled from anything I have seen before, and I urge everyone to delve into their lives and journey of empowerment. Whether or not you have seen the original book or movie, I think everyone should consider watching the 2023 release.

Rameshwar Tilacknauth

Hi, my name is Rameshwar, and I am a senior at Thomas Edison High School. I’ve always been a very artsy person, and love creating new things, including writing. I draw, bake, enjoy pop-culture, and fashion. My favorite pastime is watching tv-shows and movies. I hope my writing can bring positivity your way!