THE COLOR PURPLE*CUT TO THE CHASE*
NOTE: This spoiler was submitted by Jeremy
1909, Georgia – Sisters Celie (Phylicia Pearl Mpasi) and Nettie (Halle Bailey) sit in a tree playing a clapping game (“Huckleberry Pie”) before going to church with the rest of the town for their Sunday service (“Mysterious Ways”).
Celie is pregnant with her second child by her father Alfonso (Deon Cole), while Nettie is trying to further her education. Celie gives birth to a son, Adam, but Alphonso takes the baby away and gives him to another family, as he did with Celie’s previous baby, a daughter named Olivia. Celie works at a shop and sees a woman with Olivia, but Alfonso orders Celie to keep working when she tries to speak to the baby. She looks on from afar and hopes to one day be reunited with Olivia (“She Be Mine”). While Celie and Nettie struggle, they take comfort in having each other (“Keep It Movin'”).
Sometime later, Nettie attracts the attention of Albert “Mister” Johnson (Colman Domingo). He approaches Alfonso for her hand in marriage, but Alfonso declines since he believes Nettie might actually have a bright future ahead of her, so he offers Celie to Mister even though he is not interested. Mister ends up taking Celie anyway, and Celie is separated from her sister. She is immediately made to work for him and to act as a mother figure to his sons, with Mister striking Celie whenever he pleases.
Nettie goes to be with Celie when she can no longer be around their father. Although initially refusing to let her stay, Mister lets Nettie stick around on the condition that she works, to which she agrees. One night, Mister attempts to rape Nettie, but she hits him and is forced to run away when Mister threatens her with his rifle, ordering her to never come back. Nettie flees but promises to write to Celie everyday.
1917 – Celie (now played by Fantasia Barrino) is still married to Mister, while his oldest son Harpo (Corey Hawkins) marries a boisterous woman named Sofia (Danielle Brooks) and is expecting a child with her. Harpo tries to build a house by the swamp (“Workin'”), but Mister tells him it’s not good property to build on. Celie befriends Sofia but is later told by Harpo that is feels he cannot control Sofia because she bosses him around. Sofia later confronts Celie after hearing that Harpo was told by her to beat Sofia to get her to obey him, stating that she has endured hardships from other men in her life, but will not do so in her own home (“Hell No!”). Sofia leaves Harpo for some time.
Harpo later decides to turn the house he was building into a juke joint. Years later, when it is complete, jazz singer Shug Avery (Taraji P. Henson) comes to town (“Shug Avery Comin’ To Town”) to perform at the joint, and it turns out she was a former lover of Mister. When Shug arrives at Mister’s home, she is too drunk to stand, so Celie takes care of her until she is back on her feet. Celie and Shug form a close relationship, as Shug encourages Celie to stand up for herself when dealing with Mister, and Celie begins to feel loved again (“Dear God – Shug”).
The juke joint is ready for opening, with Shug arriving with her band for her big performance (“Push Da Button”). Sofia arrives with a new man who she is expecting a child with while raising his previous children despite still being married to Harpo. Harpo has begun seeing another woman named Mary Agnes, or “Squeak” (H.E.R.). When Harpo tries to dance with Sofia, Mary Agnes cuts in and ends up slapping Sofia before getting slapped back herself, resulting in a fight that trashes the joint. Celie and Shug make their way out from the chaos.
Shug gets ready to leave and see the rest of the world. Celie begs her to stay, feeling that Mister is kinder when Shug is around. Shug brings Celie out with her, and they start to develop a mutual love for one another (“What About Love?”). When they return to Mister’s home, Shug finds a letter in the mailbox addressed to Celie from Nettie. Celie is overjoyed to learn that her sister is alive. Shug also finds a stash of letters that Mister had hidden from Celie, and Celie proceeds to read them in secret. She learns that Nettie (now played by Ciara) now lives in Africa and has taken in Celie’s children to live with her while they live and work with a local tribe.
In Georgia, Sofia is called out by the mayor’s wife to be her nanny after seeing her with her children. Sofia declines, knowing the undertones that the woman is taking with her, but the mayor aggressively confronts Sofia and strikes her, before she hits him back in response. Sofia is arrested after a crowd of white men attack her. Celie goes to visit Sofia in prison hoping to get her out, but learns that she will have to serve out her sentence (“Hell No! Reprise”). Sofia is released after six years and ends up having to work for the mayor’s wife anyway to support her family.
On Easter Sunday, Shug returns from Memphis with her new husband Grady (Jon Batiste) and brings him to Mister’s house for dinner. Joining them is Harpo, Mary Agnes, Sofia, and Mister’s equally abusive father, Ol Mister (Louis Gossett Jr.). Celie confronts Mister for all the letters from Nettie that he kept from her. She plans to leave him along with Shug, and when Mister attempts to go after Celie again, she threatens him with a knife until the others keep her off. Mary Agnes goes off with them while Sofia holds everything down. Celie vows to Mister that until he does right by her, everything in his life will crumble.
Celie stays with Shug in Memphis and writes back to Nettie. Celie learns that her sister and children are having troubles returning to the United States since colonizers attacked and destroyed their village, along with their documents. Celie is later contacted and told that Alfonso has died, but that his property was in the name of Celie and Nettie’s actual biological father, who was not Alfonso. Their mother simply married him after their father’s death, and he left the property in his daughter’s names. Celie starts up a pants shop with help from Shug, Sofia, and Mary Agnes (“Miss Celie’s Pants”).
Meanwhile, Mister has become a miserable drunk that not even Harpo can deal with. When he ends up lost in the rain while going home, he remembers Celie’s words and vows to do right by her. He cleans himself up and changes his behavior before going down to the immigration offices to try and find a way to get Nettie and the children back to the States. With little in the way of money, Mister offers to sell some land to help his chances. He later visits Celie’s shop and buys a pair of pants that isn’t being sold otherwise. While she is hesitant to see him, she agrees to maintain a friendship with him. After she is alone, Celie expresses feelings of joy and peace for the first time in a long time (“I’m Here”).
A while later, Celie and all of her friends gather in the park for a Fourth of July picnic. A car arrives, and Celie hears a familiar voice singing a familiar song to her. She turns around and finds Nettie, along with Adam (Terrence J. Smith) and Olivia (Tiffany Elle Burgess). Celie has an emotional reunion with her family and joins hands with them as she and everyone else thanks God for how far they have come (“The Color Purple”).
In Georgia, sisters Celie and Nettie are separated when Celie is married off to the cruel Albert "Mister" Johnson. Although Nettie tries to be with her sister, she must escape from Mister's abuse while Celie has no choice but to stay.
As Celie grows older, she befriends a woman named Sofia, who is married to Mister's oldest son Harpo, along with jazz singer Shug Avery, who was Mister's former lover. With help from both women, Celie grows into a more capable, strong-willed woman before learning that Nettie is still alive with Celie's two children in Africa. Celie eventually leaves Mister with Shug and another woman named Mary Agnes ("Squeak") that Harpo was having an affair with.
Celie learns that her father Alfonso died, and that he was actually her adoptive father. Her and Nettie's biological father left property in their name, which she inherits and turns into a pants shop. Mister, who has fallen on hard times, ends up turning his ways around to try and help Nettie and the children return to the states. After a few years, Celie and Nettie are reunited, and she meets her children Adam and Olivia for the first time.