October 20, 2011

Another Look at "The Color Purple"

"Til You Do Right By Me (and Yo' Kids, Jeff), Everything You Even Think About Gonna Fail"

The Color Purple is one of my favorite movies of all time. I loved this movie long before I ever really knew what domestic violence was. The character Albert, played to a perfect ugliness, by Danny Glover, was so detestable.  My heart broke for Celie and all the heartache, pain, physical, verbal, sexual and emotional abuse he put her through.

As a viewer, you wanted to see him "get his," and kinda hoped she would cut his throat that day she was about to give him his last shave. But, I was glad and took a sigh of relief when Shug stopped her. He was a despicable and worthless human being that put her through so much hell. But he was not worth losing the rest of her life over.

The title of the movie never clicked with me until the other day. The color purple is the color that has been chosen to be a symbol of domestic violence. I don't know why or how the color was chosen, but it makes the title of the movie that much more apropos. 

I have included a link here to a scene from the movie in which Celie has finally summoned the strength, with the help of Shug (ironically, her husband's mistress) to take back her life and leave him. He continues to be verbally abusive and berate her until the very end, but this scene is so powerful because Celie has made up her mind that this day would be the last one she'd ever be subjected to his abuse again. 

This scene also contains my favorite line. As she is leaving, Celie says to Albert, "Til you do right by me, everything you even think about gonna fail!" I loved it from the first time I saw it two decades ago. Now it is even more meaningful to me, as I have gone through a life with an Albert of my own, and I too, have broken free.

When I think about it, everything my husband has tried to do against me and my children since I left him, has failed. It is clear to see that he is living the truth that, "until you do right, all you do will go wrong." (Lauryn Hill)  Everything you done to me Jeff, already been done to you, you'll see.

While looking for this scene on YouTube, I stumbled across a video someone put together using scenes from the movie. The song that is playing was written by an artist named Kristy Lee, and it's called, "45."

"She Had Enough"