Saturday, November 6, 2010

Review of Tyler Perry "Why Colored Girls....." (Excellent)

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the cover in a rainbow of beautiful gowns.
Thandie Newton (orange), Kimberly Elise (silver), Phylicia Rashad (peach), Anika Noni Rose (yellow), Kerry Washington (blue), Loretta Devine (green), Janet Jackson (red), Tessa Thompson (purple) and Whoopi Goldberg (white) sat for the exclusive portrait for the magazine's 2010 Hot List issue.
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(AFTER YOU FINISHED WATCHING THIS MOVIE, I WANT US TO START A CONVERSATION ON THIS BLOG AND TELL ME WHAT RAINBOW COLOR YOU REPRESENT - AND PLEASE THIS IS NOT ABOUT SKIN COLOR - YOU HAVE TO WATCH THE MOVIE TO UNDERSTAND)
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First performed in 1974, the play by Ntozake Shange - which Shange called a "choreopoem" - was a sensation. Played by seven wounded but resilient black female characters (each known only as a color - NOT NECESSARILY COLOR OF THEIR SKIN - BUT RATHER COLOR OF THE CHARACTER THEY ARE PLAYING), it's a series of 20 poems.
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The play was a powerful flow of eloquent, full-blooded testifying, one that has since been revered and repeatedly staged. That Perry would be drawn to it makes sense: Raised by women, he has made them his specialty.
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Finding a narrative to string Shange's poems together, though, is no easy task. Perry has put most of his nine women into one Harlem apartment building (they were scattered across the country in the play), where their stories overlap.
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There is Crystal (Kimberly Elise), the mother of two and wife to an abusive war veteran (Michael Ealy). Her boss is a fashion-magazine editor, Jo (Janet Jackson), whose steely success castrates her husband (Omari Hardwick).
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Across the hall from Crystal is Tangie (Thandie Newton), a bartender who slides into bed easily with her customers. Her sister is a high school dancer, Nyla (Tessa Thompson), who has just lost her virginity. Their angry, righteous mother (Whoopie Goldberg) is a religious fanatic clad in only white.
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Living in between Crystal and Tangie is Gilda, a concerned, motherly neighbor (Phylicia Rashad). Then there are the health workers: Juanita (Loretta Devine) runs a women's health clinic, and Kelly (Kerry Washington) is a visiting social worker. Dance instructor Yasmine (Anika Noni Rose), who is betrayed by a date, rounds out the protagonists.
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Perry juggles them all awkwardly in their characters yet what's left is the most sensational aspects of their stories.
The ladies in red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple. The various repercussions of "being alive & being a woman & bein colored is a metaphysical dilemma" are explored through the words, gestures, dance, and music of the seven ladies, who improvise as they shift in and out of different roles. In the 1970s, when Ntozake Shange herself performed in for colored girls, she continually revised and refined the poems and the movements in her search to express a female black identity. Improvisation is central to her celebration of the uniqueness of the black female body and language, and it participates in the play's theme of movement as a means to combat the stasis of the subjugation..
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I have loved movies ever since my late father showed us our first movie on a projector in a our living room. I was about 5 or 6 yrs old but i remember it like it was yesterday. Back then movies were not so common and as you I am from Ghana and it wasnt a common thing for young children my age to go to a movie theatre even if with their parents - In the city of accra where i grew up movie theatres were few and far between.
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Then came "BETAMAX" in the 1980s(if you dont know what i mean by Betamax then maybe you too young - I am a child of the 80s and i remember betamax very well). So when betamax came my father purchased the player (kinda like a vhs player) - we the kids thought we had died and gone to heaven. Video Library became very commong (at least in the city of accra) - you borrow for a day or and return it.
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I actually became addicted to MOVIES then (african movies were not even that common then). I remember i use to run home from school after the bell rung, just so i could watch a new movie the family had borrowed, and of course if you had a strict dad like i did you know on weekdays you cannot watch the movie until your homework was done and you dont have to wait to be told to get up go take your bathe and to bed no later than 8pm (my dad only had to give you one look and it spoke volumes), so weekends were my favourite times. All the neighborhood kids would come to my house and we'll cramp up in my living room (with permission from my dad ofcourse) and watch a movie. These movies helped me to escape the world I did not know yet - the outside world outside of Ghana. Then in mid 80s my aunty was returning to ghana from USA and ask us (my siblings and I ) what we wanted and simultaneously we all said movies, my older brother said Scarface, but with me i didnt have any titles so i told my aunty "any nice movie".
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Well my aunty finally arrived in ghana on one rainy Friday night and that night i remember my siblings and I could not sleep - cos we were eager to know what she'd brought and you know people who come from abroad dont open their scented luggages until the morning after. The next morning she called all of us one by one and gave us her gift from abroad and amongst many things my own gift was "Sound of Music", "My Fair Lady" and "Parents Trap" (my brothers got "Scarface" and some other ones i dont remember) - that was the end for me, I became ADDICTED TO MOVIES (way before african movies were born). I watched these three titled movies so much from the 80s to the early 90s i wore it out. Ofcourse our Betamax Player broke - betamax went out of fashion and then came VHS and so on and so forth. To cut my long story short......
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In all my years watching MOVIES in general I have never watched a movie that had so much DEPTH and CHARACTER & EMOTION all at once, as much as this movie by Tyler Perry "For Colored Girls...." I mean i dont even know how to describe it but if i had one word to describe it I would say "THE MOVIE WAS EXCELLENT - everything about the movie was phenomenal all the way from the acting to the poetry etc etc.
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Every character (9 main characters) did an excellent excellent excellent job. Why do i describe this moive was deep? Because it covers almost every issue in life - but particularly issues related to women and issues related to men too. It covers a lot of topics. My favourite characters were of course Kimberley Elise and Thandie Newton and Loretta Devine but every person in this moive including Janet did an incredible job with their performance
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I walked away from the movie saying to myself "As humans we are so much alike striving for the same thing - the one thing - LOVE. This is why we never have to judge each other. Only God can judge us.
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Mr Perry I salute you, and I truly hope and wish you win an oscar for your production and directing of this movie. It takes an excellent director to bring the best out of an actress or actor (african movie industry take cue) and you do a heck of a job with that in ANY of your movies and nailed it with this one. I appreciate you so much for what you do and contributing to the change the face of African American Movie industry.
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I urge every one (Women and Men) to go see this movie - to me - this movie has to be the best movie out of HOLLYWOOD this 2010 - bar none and if it does not win an oscar for someting, I will be shocked.
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This is a movie I hope Mr Perry translates to other languages around the globe through subtitling so that women (or men) across the world can watch it and enjoy it.
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Dont read these HOLLYWOOD WHITE CRITICS (i mean we talking black movies and you are going to listen to a BOSTON GLOBE preppy critic) that dont know anything about BLACK WOMEN ISSUES - dont pay them any attention. I bet you if it was the darkworld, occultic demonic HARRY POTTER OR STAR WARS they would love it. Read black critics when it comes black movies. We dont need "their" approval.
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And to the person who did not like the poetry - this is why i say the movie is very deep - you really have to understand arts and love literature and poetry to really appreciate this whole movie and the themes and messages. I could easily see this movie being a subject point for some college major literature or drama class. The story is like 20 stories in one in regards to the topics in covers. All the women (and the men) had issues that one person or another in real life musta dealt with. You know Mariah Carey was suppose to play Thandie Newtons role, Mariah got offered the role first, but some how she pulled out and she was replaced with Thandie, and I am glad they used Thandie cos I just can not seeing Mariah Carey pulling it off as good as Thandie did. I just heard thru the grapevine there are talks bout turning this movie into a mini on screen series. I think that will be perfect - absolutley great (at least create some all black cast prime time tv show since we dont have much lately - they give a couple of seasons and cancel on us :lol:)
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If anywone watches this movie and tell me they didnt like it or that its way overrated,then I say to you probably just are not use to watching INTELLIGENT MOvies. Well i can stress it enough to say i encourage everyone to go see it. Oprah has not gotten them on Oprah yet (as she always does prior to a Tyler Perry movie release) but rumor has it (like me) she is confident all the cast will be poising up ready for Feb 2011 oscars, so she will have them on a special segment then (on her new network). I have no doubt we will be seeing all the cast on red carpet come. I will be posting info on the upcoming 2011 oscars. I want you all to go see it and tell me what color rainbow you represent.
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My Ratings
10/10
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. Kimberly Elise and "MY" Michael Ealy in a Scene
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Anyway all i had to say before i rush to bed all i can say to my boo Pretty Ricky Michael (just as i damn Muna) is "Damn You Michael Ealy, damn you - why did you have to do that???" - the only two men I love in movies period (africa or hollywood) - seems like both men are trying to send me to an early grave with their recent protrayals and characters they played on screen. But all jokes aside - Michael you did a heck of a job with your character - I was so mad at you - and that is the whole point of movies - You made the character believable. Either way Michael u and i are going to get married after you complete therapy - I heart you Michael - for real. Oh and shout out to Hill Harper and Khalil Kain - I musta missed Old Spice advert (look at me) Mustapha. Did anyone see mustapha as i hear he was suppose to be in it.
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Oh and did i mention i love the movie "Colored Girls by Tyler Perry?.... opps i said that already didnt i? lol - go see it - You will either HATE it or LOVE but to each his own.
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9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ms Tilli, I saw this great movie on Friday and I was bawling. It was a great movie, but I really hated the poetry. It took away from the movie for me, it made it not realistic. I found Kimberly's character the most heart wrenching, especially since she was regular (No freaking poetry) for nearly the entire movie. She only gave her poetic speech towards the end, but by then I was all cried out. She is the only one that made me cry. Awesome, Award Winning movie none-the-less.

Anonymous said...

Me again.
Oh, and there was not one white person in the theatre. They don't know what they are missing. I guess they took the title literally, lol. My faves in the movie was Kimberly, Loretta, Thandi and Janet. Loved this movie, again hated the poetry.

Anonymous said...

but ms tilli how come hollywood critics gave it the worst review and ratings,i read the review on some hollywood review sites and the bashed at the movie and the director aswell.

Anonymous said...

but ms tilli how come hollywood critics gave it the worst review and ratings,i read the review on some hollywood review sites and the bashed at the movie and the director aswell.

My African Movie Reviews said...

Dont read these HOLLYWOOD WHITE CRITICS (i mean we talking black movies and you are going to listen to a BOSTON GLOBE preppy critic) that dont know anything about BLACK WOMEN ISSUES - dont pay them any attention. I bet you if it was the occultic demonic star wars they would love it.
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Read black critics when it comes black movies.

We dont need their approval.

And to the person who did not like the poetry - this is why i say the movie is - you really have to understand arts and love literature and poetry to really appreciate this whole movie and the themes and messages.
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bodacious02 said...

Loved it! I plan on seeing it again this week. I'm so proud of my girl Janet. All the ladies were on point. No weak link.

bodacious02 said...

I think Dakore will be great for Macy's role. And the Grandma is Silent Scandal (can't remeber her name) for Whoopi's role

Anonymous said...

The grandma on Silent Scandals,name is Ebele Okaro.

Anonymous said...

i loveddd this movie and the funny thing was the whole movie theatre was full of COLORED people... dont knoe abt u but it was funny to me.
i literally dug my nails into my dates arm when he dropped the kids... i swear to god i wld have killed him but all the same it was the best movie i had ever watched
...i second african movie directors esp ghanaian ones (i'm ghanaian too) should take a cue from this get script

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