Imagine if you will 9 different Black women all using passionate, powerful poetry to express their portraits of pain! Add to that an incredible cast of actresses including but not limited to Loretta
Devine, Phylicia Rashad, Kerry Washington, Whoppi Goldberg & more, and you have the makings of Tyler Perry’s rendition of “For Colored Girls” based on Ntozake Shange’s play “For Colored Girls who have considered suicide when the rainbow is enuf”!
Perry’s phenomenal cast of women (& men too like Khalil Kain, Hill Harper, Omari Hardwick, etc.) had the daunting task of telling the story of different women of color and all the trials and issues they
face, from infidelity, to abuse (physical & sexual), family drama & more. Yasmine (played by Anika Noni Rose) is a dance instructor who deals with pain & betrayal from someone she deemed as trustworthy. Crystal (played by an emotionally driven Kimberly Elise) is a married Mother of two children! Her husband Beaau Willie (played by Michael Ealy) is a war vet struggling to find a job, which leads to issues with drinking and a nasty temper that is taken out on his family! Jo (played by Janet Jackson) is a businesswoman (the boss of Elise’s character Crystal actually) who is going through marital issues of trust with her husband Carl (played by Omari Hardwick).
Juanita (played by Loretta Devine) is a nurse who is tired of having her love taken for granted by her on again off again boyfriend Frank (played by Richard Lawson). Tangie (played by a sinfully playful and seductive Thandie Newton) & Nyla (played by Tessa Thompson) are sisters who have their own separate issues, as well as problems with their over zealous religious Mom Alice, (played by the always engaging and entertaining Whoopi Goldberg)! Tangie has been going from man to
man looking for sex with no strings attached to substitute something of value missing in her life, while her Mom wants to try and protect the younger sister Tessa from following in Tangie’s same misguided
Kelly (played by Kerry Washington) is a social worker (who was assigned to check up on the family issues going on with Beau & Crystal) who is going through her own dilemma as her and boyfriend
Donald (played by Hill Harper) try to conceive children of their own and start a family! And then there is Gilda (played by the exceptionally gifted Phylicia Rashad), the building supervisor and mothering mentor to Crystal, Tangie, and any of the other ladies within their apartment complex willing to listen to her wise words of wisdom!
Each woman in the film goes through their own personal journey of struggle, pain & adversity, and let us into that world through the poetry in their words & interaction with each other and loved ones. Everyone more than held their own in this solid and moving film, but I was exceptionally moved by the performances of Devine, Rashad & Elise. We all have either been through or know someone who has been through difficult times in our lives that have taught us that if we look deep enough we can find the resolve, inner strength and character to survive and thrive through any hardship! I believe that is the heart and soul of what “For Colored Girls” shows through each woman’s journey.
I know all viewers may not get or share the same appreciation for the poetic word play the characters speak with throughout the film, especially if you haven’t seen or aren’t familiar with the play. But I think anyone who approaches this film with an open mind and willing heart will be hard pressed to deny the passion in the performance of these women, and the message of overcoming adversity at the foundation of the film. I think Tyler Perry fans will be especially pleased here too, as this film should be another fine addition to the growing list of serious dramas under his belt in the same vein as “The Family that Preys”!
So on a scale of 1 out of 5, 5 being the highest and 1 being the lowest, I give “For Colored Girls” 4 stars ****. Till next time be safe and stay blessed.