Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Devil Wears Prada (2006)

Dir: David Frankel
Currently in Theatres

Andy Sachs (Anne Hathaway) has applied to be an assistant to the notorious Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep) the head of a major fashion magazine. She hasn’t lived in New York long enough to shake her North Western college years and is desperately looking for work. She knows little about fashion and nothing about the magazine or the woman she has applied to work for and yet she is still willing to do the work that needs to be done in the hopes that after a year with Miranda, she can position herself in line to get the job she really wants, to be a journalist.

On the surface, the film is about the choices and sacrifices we make in the pursuit of our dreams and how much we can change in the process. There is no doubt that by the end of the film Andy has changed from the beginning of the film; whether she has changed for the better or has sacrificed too much of her life is debatable, but she has changed. Below the surface, though not far, it is a film about the fashion industry and the roles it plays in the larger society.

The film doesn’t deviate much from a textbook Hollywood film but it does maintain some grounding in reality, largely due to the performance of Meryl Streep. Through her we see the absolute venom that is Miranda; a woman who isn’t cruel because she thinks of it but just is. Miranda’s nature is to be a demanding woman who expects everything from everyone and wouldn’t think of anything less. The cast is quite well rounded by Stanley Tucci, Emily Blunt and Adrian Grenier who plays Andy’s boyfriend that feels left behind from the new Andy.

The Devil Wears Prada is a smart comedy that manages to stay on this side of campy while still providing a host of takeaway lines. It stays away from being too preachy about the fashion industry, something that it could have easily done and definitely entertains.


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