Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Rocked to the core


credit: Google images
Awhile back I mentioned wanting to go see Tyler Perry's adaptation of the famed stage play
"For Colored Girls" with a bunch of girlfriends. 
For whatever reason - that never happened and Sunday night was my first time viewing it.
Sigh.
I am forever changed.
I admit I was a bit skeptical at first as I heard /read mixed reviews and comments from friends. I've also seen the play several times and read the book adaptation in college as well and am a HUGE fan of Ntozake Shange- the author.
Her words (to me) are like music and seem to dance off each page so I was unsure of how Tyler was going to reproduce that because the play is comprised of monologues/tales  from each of the 'colored' women.
I even have a few of them committed to memory as I helped a college friend learn the lines when our school was putting it on and the words were so strong they have since remained with me.

****A brief synopsis from Wikipedia:******
Structurally, For Colored Girls is a series of 20 poems, collectively called a "choreopoem." Shange's poetry expresses the many struggles and obstacles that African-American women face throughout their lives. It is performed by a cast of seven women characters, each of whom is known only by a color: "Lady in Yellow," "Lady in Purple," etc. The poems deal with love, abandonment, rape, and abortion, embodied by each woman's story, e.g. Lady in Blue's visceral account of a woman who chooses to have an abortion, and Lady in Red's tale of domestic violence. The end of the play brings together all of the women for "a laying on of hands," in which Shange evokes the power of womanhood as the Lady in Red begins the mantra "I found God in myself/and I loved her/I loved her fiercely."
credit: Google Images

This movie took me through the full range of my emotions in the span of the 2.5 hours.
I laughed (well chuckled) , I cried, I screamed bloody murder - no joke; Babe came running down the hall because he heard me and found me sobbing hysterically.
I was shaken where I sat.
But most of all - I felt and related. Not in the specific 'oh this is happening/has happened to me' but in an 'oh my word - I GET it' kind of way.
It was serious & provocative, heart wrenching and thought provoking.
In short - I LOVED it.
There were parts that were disturbing and I probably should not have watched it so close to bedtime as I was haunted by these women all night.
The women in this film have left a mark on my heart as well as my psyche.
A lot of people didn't care for it and thought it was negative.
And while I can see where they are coming from.....I for one did not once feel that way.
For me- it was truth.  And sometimes the truth is ugly and there's not always a way to tie that up in a pretty little package and put a happy face on it at the end.
One of the themes that resonated with me is that you NEVER know what another woman is going through. No matter how much you see them and think you know. You just truly have no idea.
No, there was no "happy ending" nor did the characters have that life altering moment of redemption nor were you shown their redemption. But you felt it.
In the end they learned who they were, accepted it and chose to move forward.
They also came together as women to support one another and 'lay hands' on each other.
Which for black women is sometimes hard to do. Letting our guard down is tantamount to showing weakness and we can never let that happen.
At the end of the day whether you liked the movie or not - it made you think.  It got you talking about the issues we face as a community and that was it's intended purpose.
It changed my  perspective and made me want to reach out to all my girlfriends and wrap my arms around them and tell them I love them and that they are special and beautiful and amazing creatures. All of them.
Now I did not see all the Oscar nominated films nor do I care to, but I do believe that at least some of these actresses deserve some kind of award as does Mr. Perry.
The performances were earth shattering. His script moving.
He really hit it out of the park with this one and my expectations for what he produces has gone up tenfold.
So, please don't let me down Tyler - us 'colored girls' are depending on you.

1 comment:

  1. i haven't seen it, but it's on, my list.

    hello friend, how are you?
    i send you love~
    xoxo

    ReplyDelete

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