16 LSV

Cast: Janet Jackson, Kimberly Elise, Kerry Washington,Anika Noni Rose, Whoopi Goldberg,Thandie Newton,Phylicia Rashad ,Loretta Devine, Tessa Thompson

The much-talked about Tyler Perry film has finally hit our shores, six months after it came out in the US. Perry’s films always take forever to come out in South Africa; some people had watched For Colored Girls long before its release on May 13.

The film is an adaptation of poet Ntozake Shange`s 1975 play For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When The Rainbow Is Enuf, which deals with love, infidelity, abandonment, rape and abortion embodied by each woman`s story.

Perry collected an ensemble cast of top black actresses who brought Shange`s play to life quite well. Some of the scenes are very graphic as the age restriction suggests, so this one is not for the faint-hearted. Each character is emotionally intense and the actresses engage very well with their material, although the melodramatic music tends to overbearing and unnecessary in some scenes.

Also, unless one has read Shange`s play, one will not notice that each character wears a specific colour throughout the film.

Perry`s ability to handle such serious material was questioned by critics but he does a decent job with For Colored Girls, which is carried solely by the sheer talent of its actresses.

Kimberly Elise, who starred in Perry`s Diary of a Mad Black Woman, steals the show as the abused mother ‘Crystal’, or ‘Lady in Brown’. Whoopi Goldberg shows her experience with her handling of ‘Alice’, the overbearing religious frenzied mother.

Thandie Newtown`s role was cast for Mariah Carey, but she pulled out due to her pregnancy. Her character ‘Tangie’, or ‘Orange’, delivers a line that probably centres the whole film,: “Being alive and being a woman is all I got, but being colored is a metaphysical dilemma I haven`t conquered yet.”

The title may sound biased towards ‘colored girls’ but the issues covered in the film are universal to women of all races. Overall the film does not quite reach its full potential.

P.S This is not a date movie; men are not portrayed in a positive light in this film.

Vuvu Rating: 6/10