Bamboozled: Follow the Purple

Running throughout Bamboozled was the curious use of the color purple. We first see it on Pierre, who goes into work in a bright head-to-toe purple suit. I was instantly reminded of clowns, and watched closely throughout the rest of the movie to see where else it popped up. Sloan wears it when she still agrees with Delacroix’s (Pierre’s) motives, in the form of both a shirt and a jacket. However, when she switches perspectives, you never see her wear it again. Manray has a purple undershirt on during the meeting with the producer, while Womack very pointedly does not. Pierre continues to wear shades of purple throughout the movie. The “pimp” figure during auditions, when everything goes smoky, is also wearing a purple hat. It seems like characters who are sellouts, or shufflers, wear purple as an emblem of their acquiescence. I found this interesting for many reasons. First, purple is the color of royalty. Second, it is a color often associated with black people. Why did Spike use this particular color to highlight the individuals within the movie who were most lost? Perhaps by attributing it to them, he was highlighting just how great the “lost” quality was.

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