The Color Purple (1985) – 0.5/5

Ughh. Terrible. Truly, unbelievably bad. I’m going to come clean here and admit that I did something with this movie that I usually never do: I stopped watching a little more than half way through. I just couldn’t take it anymore. An hour and a half of this two and a half hour monstrosity was all I could stomach before I had to call it quits lest I lose the remainder of my sanity. There was just so little of it left by the hour and a half mark, I just had to.

But seriously. I can’t remember the last time a movie so irritated me, to the point where the mere thought of continuing to watch it started to make me physically ill. And a Spielberg movie no less, an Academy Award nominated Spielberg movie! Eleven Academy Awards, including Best Picture?!? Are you kidding? They’re insane. They’re all insane. Who the hell could honestly say they enjoyed watching this trite, shoddy, poorly written/directed/acted/made garbage, let alone think it worthy of awards? This is Spielberg’s worst movie, and one of the worst I’ve ever seen, by far, my god.

The biggest problem with the film, and there are many, and the reason why it’s such an unpleasant watch, is its tone. What the hell was Spielberg thinking giving a movie about incest, rape, racism, spousal abuse, child abuse, and prostitution a goofy, comical, Disney-esque tone? And not just in one or two scenes, but throughout, even during the rape/incest/abuse scenes. Huh? Who is the audience supposed to be here, exactly? Children? Cause this goofy Mickey Mouse crap certainly isn’t aimed at adults.

I just don’t understand what he was thinking here. It’s the worst possible decision any filmmaker could have made, filming something meant to be tragic and serious in a fun, goofy, comical way. And it’s terrible, god awful, inappropriate and offensive, to a degree I’ve rarely seen in cinema. I get that he had only made entertaining, borderline goofy movies before this and wanted to try doing something more serious, and there’s nothing wrong with experimenting with genre every once in a while, but come on. You don’t have to be a genius to see why turning a grim novel about the misery of a tortured black woman into a slapstick comedy would be inappropriate. So I have to ask, again: what was Spielberg thinking here? Was he thinking?

And the acting, god. Danny Glover is horrible here; over the top, one-dimensional. A perfect cartoon villain, in other words. And the two kids at the beginning, ughhh, and that whole scene where Glover separates them and throws the sister out had to be one of the worst, most horrifically melodramatic, pompous, manipulative things I’ve ever seen in my life. Ughh so so bad, just thinking about it makes me sick.

I’ll give Whoopi Goldberg credit, though; she’s pretty good here. Very believable and sympathetic, and kind of cute in a way. But the shining star of the movie is Oprah Winfrey. I had no idea the woman could act. She steals the show whenever she’s on-screen, and is probably the only thing about this movie that actually deserved any of its award recognition. She ought to have been in more films, actually. She’d have had a good career, not that she needed any more money at that point, or presently for that matter. But a great, powerful performance. A shame it was wasted on such crap.

There are many other problems, too. The writing is awful, the story is unpleasant, the situations are implausible and silly, the cinematography, though beautiful, is inappropriate, and so on and so forth forever and ever amen. Granted I didn’t watch the whole thing, and maybe the moment I stopped it and smashed the DVD to pieces was the moment the movie turned around and became this big amazing masterpiece worthy of all the praise and award nominations, but I doubt it.

Ultimately, it’s crap. Completely schmaltzy, terrible, awful, offensive, poorly made crap. I wouldn’t wish this movie on anyone unless they needed to be tortured for whatever reason, and even then I’d be a bit hesitant to actually go through with it. It’s a truly awful film, one of the worst I’ve ever seen, and I recommend you stay as far, far away from it as possible.  Save yourself. Avoid.


    • sa’ad al-khatib
    • January 17th, 2013

    isnt even worth a half star,how the hell it got 11 oscar nominations is beyond anybody and to even nominate 14 musicians for a stolen film score shows the oscars at there dumbest, just imagine if spike lee directed this film

You must be logged in to post a comment.
%d bloggers like this: