Wednesday, August 14, 2013

HIT ME WITH YOUR BEST SHOT: The Color Purple


This week Nathaniel selected one of my favourite films for "Hit me with your best shot" - The Color Purple. This melodrama about the struggles of black women in the early 20th century is surely one of the most unique in his filmography. Its feminine qualities certainly separate it from his more predominantly male-centric films. What makes it even more special is that these female characters and their arcs are tremendously fascinating. From the defiant Sofia (Oprah Winfrey) all the way down to the demure Squeak (Rae Dawn Chong). The film improves almost exponentially as each new character is introduced. Arguably, the core relationship in this film is that between Celie (Whoopi Goldberg) and Shug (Margaret Avert), so that's what I focused on for my favourite shot.

Click below for my favourite shot...


My favourite shot comes from a beautiful moment in a film filled with many. After a rocky start to their friendship, Celie and Shug have grown to be close friends at this point, with Shug even performing "Celie's Blues" in her honour at the juke joint. After returning home, Shug encourages Celie to embrace her beauty and wear a glittery dress that Celie feels unworthy of. It's such a kind gesture and the scene as a whole reveals so much about the characters.

After a life of oppression, Shug comes along and gives Celie such great inner strength that serves her well throughout the entire film. She may be uncomfortable in this dress (she isn't even confident enough to look in the mirror), but Shug's enthusiastic encouragement in the background means the world to her. Just look at that sheepish grin! "The Color Purple" truly shines in these scenes, showing how simple acts of kindness and friendship between women can be the source of so much strength.

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