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Film Title

The Devil Wears Prada

Director

David Frankel

Starring

  • Meryl Streep as Miranda Priestly
  • Anne Hathaway as Andy Sachs
  • Emily Blunt as Emily Charlton
  • Stanley Tucci as Nigel
  • Adrian Grenier as Nate
  • Simon Baker as Christian Thompson

An amusing comedy drama about a young woman’s journey in the world of fashion under the boss from hell, The Devil Wears Prada gets laughs and some surprising dramatic weight. As formulaic as some of it is, it is still a very funny satire on the fashion industry, benefiting from a talented cast.

Andy Sachs is a fresh-faced college graduate who wants to be a journalist and is just out of university. An opportunity comes knocking in a strange way, after not having much luck in finding work. She is in turn recommended a job working at  Runway, a New York fashion magazine headed by the notorious and commanding editor in chief Miranda Priestly. She is to be the junior assistant to her, which is a job so many people would give their lives for. Although she has no interest in fashion or the whole scene that she views as shallow, she gets the job unexpectedly. Yet Andy is totally unprepared for what she’ll have to deal with while being assistant to the very high-powered Miranda. What she finds is that Miranda is no walk in the park, but an extremely demanding and at times vicious boss. Having to complete the various, seemingly impossible tasks that Miranda sets her proves to be a severe challenge to someone as wide-eyed as Andy. Andy doesn’t fit in with anyone particularly, not least the snippy senior assistant Emily. Yet with the help of art director Nigel( which includes a glamorous makeover) and adopting of a different attitude towards the industry, Andy starts to succeed and surprisingly get ahead at work. She believes that lasting a year working under the dominating Miranda will be good for references and open doors to her dream. Yet as Andy gets further sucked into the world that she initially disdained, she is forced to confront the fact that her integrity is slipping and that she is rapidly changing into something she never thought she would. Her love life with chef boyfriend Nate begins to sour and she begins to alienate herself from her closest friends, as a result of being at Miranda’s beck and call. But is survival working for Miranda worth sacrificing all for?

David Frankel has a stylish approach to the material, imbued with the right amount of humour and character. I wouldn’t say his direction in The Devil Wears Prada is anything awe-inspiring, but it gets the job done efficiently and with care. Interest does lag within a few scenes that go on for too long( and the main men in Andy’s life don’t particularly give much to the plot of the film). The catty one liners and frequently hilarious events make up for that however, getting your interest as we glimpse a behind the scenes look at a glamorous yet dog eat dog world. Seriously some of the dialogue is priceless in how it skewers the fashion industry and culture, while allowing the relatable but difficult journey for Andy that threatens to overtake her, to feature added depth to the largely funny flick. The look at how easily one can lose themselves in something and feel they have no choice but to oblige is rendered well; owing to the way the script gives measured nuance and surprising insight. Sometimes the film only scratches the surface of what wants to get to in the odd slip, but the satirical edge and stylish glitz are more than sufficient at keeping things in a way that feels fresh for us to enjoy. And like any movie dealing with clothing and image, The Devil Wears Prada is a super stylish and glossy film. From montages to bright colours, it has magazine ready finish from the get go. And while some will say it is just a chick flick, The Devil Wears Prada can equally be enjoyed by men. It’s an all round fun time to be had here in a high glamour world that’s as funny as it is stinging. I mean the while boss from hell plot is a definitely amusing one that I’m sure many people can recall similar situations in their own lives, with less outrageousness I’m sure but you know what I mean. A fashionable soundtrack briskly keeps the film on its course with some great songs to groove to.

Meryl Streep completely steals the show as the demanding and commanding Miranda. Possessing a glacial demeanor and a certain regal poise, she creates a character who may be a tyrannical, but is still quite unexpectedly human despite her frostiness. Miranda both inspires fear and awe within the film and the audience, with Meryl Streep steering her away from just being a wicked caricature. What we get instead of a one-dimensional part is one that is frequently ruthless yet not above revealing a hidden vulnerability, in a nuanced way that Streep effortlessly portrays. Miranda doesn’t need to raise her voice to make a point; a simple purse of the lips, look up and down or a cutting, deadpan remark is enough to reduce anyone to a pile of quivering nerves. A scary, fascinating, darkly funny and fabulous character is brought to life with measured shading and conviction by the always excellent Meryl Streep. Anne Hathaway delightfully portrays the inexperience and uncertainty of Andy, tempered with an intelligence and feeling of doubt over what she can achieve. Hathaway has an inborn sensitivity and vulnerability that I’ve noticed in many of her performances, that is used excellently to make Andy a conflicted yet relatable heroine the audience wants to help. I mean how can you not have sympathy for this girl, going through the motions and figuring out just what she wants to do? Her sheer awkwardness and coltish appearance is rendered nicely by Hathaway, who refuses to make the character a brainless girl.  Emily Blunt gets a whole of laughs in her role of minion to Miranda, whose neurotic and desperation to please provide hysterical desperation and scintillating, bitchy sassiness. Splendid and side-splitting support comes from Stanley Tucci as the confidante, who instructs Andy in how best to approach her job and how Miranda is not above rewarding loyalty, in her own roundabout way of course. Tucci though is the only guy in the film who is actually given something good to do. Adrian Grenier and Simon Baker are left stumbling and with little in the way of material to work with.

So for all the contrivances in the film and how it can seem predictable, The Devil Wears Prada boasts a high entertaining factor, finding humour and pathos from a cast headed by an imperious Meryl Streep and how the whole fashion world is a place of survival. A biting yet somehow sweet engaging and humorous film is what The Devil Wears Prada emerges is, which brings out big enjoyable laughs for the viewer.

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