For Colored Girls
 
            “For Colored Girls” is Tyler Perry’s adaptation of the play “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enough.” Like good theater, it’s more about the character development, and the personality interplay, and this strong ensemble cast leaves some really strong impressions:
            Artistic.  Proud.  Betrayed.  Forlorn.  Self-loathing.  Dissipation.  Vulnerability.  Love given too freely, without expectation of reciprocity.  Love given too freely, without hope of intimacy.  Love withheld.  Love denied.  Love misunderstood.  Innocence deflowered.  Preaching as a substitute for caring.  Withholding money to worship power.  Asking for money deceitfully.  Mistakenly thinking that acceptance will overcome abuse.  The guilt of doing too little because you were distracted.  Loving another even though she can’t give you the only thing you really want from her.  Taking advantage of an absence of suspicion.  Throwing caution to the winds, and reaping the whirlwind.  Making one little mistake that keeps multiplying on itself.  Rejecting family at the expense of losing your own sense of self.  Considering that God may be within.  Calling someone you care about a “devil” because you want them to change the way they think about you.  Considering what it means to be a woman of color who’s visible, who owns her own emotions, and deserves her own loyalty. 
            Sure, it feels overblown in places.  Just as in a musical, when all the action stops so that somebody can sing, so here, all the action stops so somebody can make a speech, and recite some poetry.  It’s going to feel “stagey”; even pretentious, at times, and “over the top” at other times.  But it’s a powerful confluence of film and theater in one medium.  Those who are lovers of both will find here plenty to engage all the emotions.  Even though they do grieving more than rejoicing, still, it feels triumphant, because here are women who live perilously close to each other, learning to accept both themselves and one another, as if there is something about their commonality that is stronger than their individuality.
            It certainly isn’t for everybody.  But for those enamored with dramatic performances, there’s plenty of emotional wallop here.  As well as stark social commentary, and a kind of naked introspection that is breathtaking in its ferocity.
           
Dr. Ronald P. Salfen, Pastor, Grace Presbyterian Church, Greenville , Texas