Friday, November 5, 2010
For Colored Girls...
If anybody went to see "For Colored Girls" expecting to see Madea, they were sadly disappointed. I have to give Tyler Perry his "propers." He made millions giving (some) people what they want, now he's giving the people what he thinks they need. The credits for the movie list Tyler Perry as screen writer....based on the play by Ntozake Shange "For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf."
I never had the opportunity to see Ntozake Shange's choreopoem, as it is called, performed, but I have read the 20 poems that make up the performance. In the original, seven women are known by the colors of the rainbow that they represent. TP uses the words of those poems and assembles them into a story, adding transitional scenes and men who don't appear at all in the original. They are the men whom the women are talking about, or talking to in the original.
I thought the screenplay was well constructed, sometimes moving quickly from one issue to the next, so there was no point where the story dragged. The scenes are emotionally draining, covering the worst experiences women can live through. The poem about rape was originally performed by several women, in the movie it becomes a monologue by the victim in closeup. (Spoiler alert!) This was an outstanding performance by Anika Noni Rose. I also loved Loretta Divine, Kimberly Elise, and Thandie Newton.
I have seen mixed reviews for "For Colored Girls." I give it four stars. I think it's Oscar material for somebody in the cast. I would vote for Anika Noni Rose.