April 13, 2024

New musical adaptation of ‘The Color Purple’ sparks excitement ahead of Christmas release

3 min read

by Magrira

At the New York screening of “The Color Purple,” I could tell by the excitement rustling through the audience that the message and the movie meant something to those assembled.

A woman dressed in what I can only describe as her “very Sunday best” asked me to take a picture of her next to the film’s poster. I took my time, sensing its significance to her. She removed her coat, and I held her pocketbook as she adjusted positions (my left side being my best). Click. Click. Click. She checked and approved the photo. “Thank you, sis, I’m so excited to see this,” she said, and by then, I felt equally enthused.

During this moment, I also studied the poster and realized this was being positioned as a new perspective on the now classic novel and movie. With Fantasia Barrino in the lead, it’s safe to call this version a musical.

“The Color Purple” opens on Christmas Day and is based on Alice Walker’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book. The first film about African American women in the early 1900s south was released in 1985, earning 11 Academy Award nominations. It showcased one of Whoopi Goldberg’s best performances (alongside Oprah Winfrey in a career-defining role, no less) and inspired a stage production that garnered just as many Tony Award nominations and one win.

To say that Barrino (as Celie) and the rest of the cast of the 2023 remake of “The Color Purple” have big shoes to fill is an understatement.

Directed by Blitz Bazawule, the cast features a number of extremely gifted Broadway veterans, including the aforementioned Barrino, as well as Danielle Brooks (as Sofia), Taraji P. Henson, Corey Hawkins, and Halle Bailey. Early Oscar buzz began with veteran Variety writer Jazz Tangcay echoing the sentiment: “Oscars, make room for Fantasia! This is a powerhouse performance as Celie. Blitz assembled an incredible roster of talent to pull off this stellar adaptation. Taraji P. Henson is a powerhouse, and this film is perfection on every level, from acting to crafts.”

Is Bazawule’s vision of Alice Walker’s “The Color Purple” a new classic? Well, what I learned from watching the film and feeling the audience’s reaction is that this 2023 version is as powerful and necessary as when these characters were first introduced to the world.

Supporting a film by purchasing a ticket is one of the most direct ways to show your encouragement and appreciation for the work put into creating it. Especially for family-friendly films like this one, releasing on Christmas Day, your ticket purchase can contribute to the success of the movie. In the film industry, profitability often determines the future production of similar movies. So, if viewers want to see more movies with similar themes or styles, showing support through ticket purchases is crucial. It’s a way to demonstrate that there’s an audience eager for these kinds of stories, which can influence future film production decisions.

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