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Granite Bay Today

The Student News Site of Granite Bay High School

Granite Bay Today

The Color Purple (1985) Review

Poster Courtesy of IMDb

“Nothing but death can keep me from it.” As two sisters are being separated from each other, never to see one another, only fate will decide if their paths should ever cross again. The Color Purple tells a story of sadness and hope. Two sisters, Celie and Nettie, live with their abusive father in the early 1900s. The sisters have an unbreakable bond until Albert, a widowed father, asks for Celie’s hand in marriage. The father agreed and the sisters were separated.

Nettie tried her best to talk to Celie, whether that be in person or through a letter, but failed regardless. As the years passed, Celie lived a horrible life with Albert and his children. But as time went by, Celie grew in confidence and fought back. She left Albert and made a life of her own. As fate would have it, Nettie kept her promise, nothing could keep her from seeing her sister again and after so many years they were reunited.

The 1985 classic, which is being remade this year, was directed by Steven Spielberg. The film stars some well known actors such as Whoopi Goldberg, Danny Glover, and Oprah Winfrey. The film is told through the eyes of Goldberg’s character Celie. Her character goes through so much, but she still finds a way to cope from all the stress and abuse.

Goldberg’s portrayal of the character is amazing. I was surprised to see her take on a more serious role compared to her other movies. Her ability to display a character who has been through years of abuse and then to transition to a character of confidence and independence really shows her ability to act. One particular scene that showcased this was the argument she had with her husband before leaving him. It was the kind of scene where you were rooting for the character and wanting to see what happens next.

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Oprah’s character, Sofia, was equally amazing as Goldberg’s portrayal of Celie. Most of us know Oprah from her talk show and although she has acted in very few movies, she did a great job as Sofia. Oprah was able to play a character with lots of wit and sass, but also a character who at a certain point in the movie was at their lowest. Her acting was very genuine and it packed a lot of power and an emphasis in breaking the social norms of the time.

At the time it was quite common for a woman to cook and take care of the children, but Sofia was the opposite. She never allowed those norms to touch her and Oprah did a spectacular job emphasizing how her character never allowed those norms to be a part of her life.

Glover’s character, Albert, was the antagonist in the film. Danny Glover has been known for playing a protagonist in the Lethal Weapon Series and it was interesting to see him change roles. He did a great job in portraying an abusive husband with weaknesses to him despite the power he might have over Celie. When I talk about the weakness within Albert, I’m talking about the way he acts when his father is around.

Albert’s father was cruel and had strict beliefs, just like Albert. But Glover’s performance, from being a scary and powerful character to being a weak and helpless person in front of his father, shows Glover’s ability to play such a character. Nevertheless, each actor did a great job and Spielberg’s creative storytelling was able to capture the emotions from each actor.

Suspense is one of Spielberg’s attributes in many of his films and in The Color Purple, Spielberg used suspense when Celie tried to kill Albert. Spielberg used close ups, slow camera movements, and fast paced music. The close ups are usually on the face, but Spielberg uses them on different parts of the body or on certain objects.

All these elements created suspense but apart from creating these scenes, Spielberg would capture the emotions and body language of a human once again using close ups. In certain scenes, he used close ups on different characters to capture their sadness, their anger, or happiness. Celie, for example, had close ups when she was crying, when she was smiling, and when she was furious. These scenes connected us with the character and made us feel fully invested in the film.

The Color Purple was nominated 11 times in the Oscars and many praise it for its unique storytelling. This story will continue to impact future generations with its remake, which stars Hallie Berry, Fantasia Barrino, and Daniella Brooks. It is directed by Blitz Bazawule and produced by Oprah Winfrey and Steven Spielberg. It is set to release during Christmas.

The overall film was good, but compared to Spielberg’s other films, it was different. Most of Spielberg’s movies have an element of sci-fi or action and the movies that truly depict something serious are sometimes overlooked. I would highly recommend this film to those who admire Spielberg or those who enjoy a story about family and sisterhood. I give this film a 9/10.

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Pablo Pillai
Pablo Pillai, Staff Writer
Pablo is a senior. This is his second year on the Gazette staff.

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