04 December 2011

For Colored Girls


For Colored Girls is a movie directed by Tyler Perry, adapted from a book of poems. The movie puts together a collage of interwoven stories about nine "colored" women, all of which have their own hurts, discouragements, bitterness, drama, and issues. The movie portrays the social, relational, and emotional scars that many women go through. Although the women portrayed in the movie are Black, the movie gives way to women of all ethnicities. As the story of each woman is told, there is something that can be identified with; depression, anger, bitterness, trust issues, pregnancy, abortion, rape, loss, abuse, death, and strength.
Tyler Perry takes all of the aforementioned issues and highlights them in a creative and genuine way. He takes the book of poems by Ntozake Shange’s "For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf" and correlates them into the lives of these women and integrates the poems into the conversations of these women with other characters.
The Mise-en-Scene is a big part of what makes this movie what it is. Its takes on the everyday dramas of women and puts it into a realistic drama. Even the way the stories intertwine are realistic in the sense that the people an individual meets at a coffee shop, business, hospital, all have their own story, their own issues, their own vices, and their own hurts. The movie also uses a specific color to represent each of the women. The only person who doesn't have her own color is Nyla, the youngest of the the women. Nyla ends up wearing all of the colors; possibly because of her age, she has the potential to go through any of the situations that the older women have gone through, along with the the problems that she has already had. The use of the colors becomes the unifier between all women in general. The colors seem to represent a characteristic, but the characteristic is artistically open for one's own interpretation. The colors can also be understood better in the dichotomy of words used by both Tangie and Juanita. One part of the dichotomy is that colored could be used for African American, but it could also be interpreted as something deeper, like an emotion, an issue, or a happenstance. The two examples of the use of "colored" in the movie are...
"Being Colored is a metaphysical dilemma I haven't conquered yet" (Tangie), and
"I couldn't stand being colored and sorry at the same time. It's so redundant in the modern world" (Juanita). The costumes or wardrobe enhances the use of color.
The makers of this movie decided to make it harsh, graphic, and vulgar by portraying a rape scene; a scene where a paranoid alcoholic war veteran throws his children out of a five story building window; a scene where a 16 year old girl has an abortion; a woman confronts her husband who has given her HIV from sleeping with other men; and a woman who desperately in need of love, promiscuously sleeps around with a variety of different men. The vulgarity of the actions, shots of metaphoric items, profane language, and the overall realities of different women draw the viewer mentally and emotionally into at least one of the character's realities, if not more than one. It engages the viewer and causes them to either identify with the character, or at least empathize with them. I think it works. The movie ends with what is supposed to be an empowering scene which seems to suggest that women need to care for other women. One thing that I didn't like about the movie was that it very negatively portrayed men. Although I didn't like that, it did work in the sense that although men can cause many hurts and issues for women, women must own up to the part that they have in allowing some situations get to the point where they end up getting hurt. The mise-en-scene really emphasized what needed to be emphsized in order to accomplish everything that this movie set out to accomplish.

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