Upcoming movie, “For Colored Girls” is going to turn off a lot of people.
36 years ago, Ntozake Shange produced a piece of theater that stunned audiences with its story of the life of black women including rape, violence, abortion, promiscuous behavior and homosexuality. Shange’s piece was a mélange of dance, poetry, theater and feminist ideology.
Perry may be playing a woman in his Madea movies, but he’s a very crude substitute for Shange. However, he has quite a following and it’s hard to say how many may come out to see his new venture.
The title of the theater piece that this new movie release comes from is “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/ When the Rainbow is Enuf.” This piece had a difficult transition to the big screen as it has no plot or regular characters. The performers in the piece are called things like “Lady in Red”.
If someone had really tried hard to creatively set this drama on the new movies list to the big screen it could have been well done. Perry just pushes conventional plots and characters onto the background of Shange’s work. Perry gets from one poem to the next but you never get a feeling for the characters. When his words are used rather than Shange’s, the difference is glaringly obvious.
Perry’s characters are all in Harlem during modern times. This makes the illegal abortion scene rather odd. Most of the characters live in tenements, except for the character played by Janet Jackson who is a magazine exec and has a fancy corner office and a penthouse on the East Side. Her makeup, hair, and costumes are not flattering.
Member of the movies cast, Kimberly Elise, who plays Jo’s assistant, Crystal, lives in a walk-up in fear of her abusive and alcoholic husband, played by Michael Ealey. Phylicia Rashad plays building manager Gilda who’s keeping an eye on Crystal’s situation as well as that of Tangie, played by Thandie Newton, who has a different guy up every night.
Whoopi Goldberg plays Tangie’s religious mother, Alice. Tessa Thompson plays Tangie’s sister, Nyla. They live in an apartment downstairs. Loretta Devine lives down the hall and plays Juanita, plays a nurse at a woman’s center who lets a cheating man back into her life time and time again.