Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Tyler Perry’s “For Colored Girls” an emotional, touching adaptation

By Anthony Santiago

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Tyler Perry’s latest film “For Colored Girls” strikes a colorful palate of critical issues facing not only colored women, but all women. Adapted from Ntozake Shange’s 1975 stage play “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf,” Perry constructs his own thought-provoking, poetic, emotional, real and raw version of this award-winning play from stage to screen.

When you think of Tyler Perry, Hollywood’s greatest films don’t come rushing to mind. Perry is popularly known for delivering comedic films, but it is his dramatic films that garner the most attention and show his true colors as a director, producer and writer. His work includes the TV sitcoms “Tyler Perry’s House of Payne” and “Meet the Browns” while his film work includes the Madea franchise along with “Why Did I Get Married,” “Why Did I Get Married Too” and “I Can Do Bad All By Myself.” His most recent work producing the film “Precious” based on the novel “Push” by Sapphire received six Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture.

Starring an ensemble cast including Janet JacksonWhoopi Goldberg and Phylicia Rashad, the film portrays the lives of seven women who have to endure and conquer their own pain. One must deal with being raped by a man, who she believed she could trust, another deals with the issue of suicide after the death of her children, while another young woman deals with teenage pregnancy and abortion.

What is even more interesting is that each character is a symbolic representation of their own skin color. The film has many heartbreaking stories that connect all these women together. They find strength, in one another, to overcome their obstacles.

“For Colored Girls” plucks at just about every emotional string in your body making you feel shocked, angry and joyful at different points throughout the film. The film is very raw and real, likely because of its adaptation from a play – the film also has a very poetic tone to it. Certain dialogue between the women takes the shape of a poem as they use these times to explain their hardship.

The film allows the viewers to think and judge the characters for themselves based off of their stories. Not only does the film offer thought-provoking questions and discussions, it also offers a real look into the lives of women: the tragedy and the issues they deal with, the pain that they endure to only hide.

The direction and script of the film are outstanding. Perry does an excellent job at creating a film that sounds and looks like a great piece of work. The acting from both the leads and the supporting cast is phenomenal. The emotions depicted run deep, although at times the film presents itself too dramatically. However, the performances by these women outweigh the small flaw.

Although they had small acting roles, the men in the film are the center cause of the critical issues. They provide supporting roles that affected the entire tone of the film. The most compelling scene comes from Janet Jackson when she confronts her husband about his secret life. Perry keeps the camera close in on her as she describes how he has broken her heart but he also leaves her husband blurred in the background, representing his absence and invisibility in their marriage.

The overall strength of the film is found whenever the women come together and is represented highly in the final scene of the film. Here, the women are completely raw and stripped down to their core for an unforgettable and brilliantly directed scene full of emotion, redemption and color. As a director, Tyler Perry is not to be underestimated and proves himself to be a worthy filmmaker. Regardless of skin tone “For Colored Girls” is a worthy contender next time at the box office.

Anthony Santiago can be reached at [email protected]

3 Comments

3 Responses to “Tyler Perry’s “For Colored Girls” an emotional, touching adaptation”

  1. Cynthia Fore on November 8th, 2010 10:31 pm

    I thought the film was brilliant. The acting was superb and believable. Tyler Perry is truly gifted and talented and is definitely making his mark on the art of filmmaking. I applaud what he is doing. I would see this film again because it really brings up some things worthy of thought and discussion.

  2. adriana wynn on November 9th, 2010 12:07 am

    loved it!! made me cry. made me reach far into my closet and helped me to express my inner thoughts aloud that i have been holdin in so long. All 10 fingers up 2 that.

  3. Janine Gentry on October 31st, 2011 10:59 am

    Thanks for the write up

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