Wednesday, 4 July 2012

The Devil Wears Prada (2006) - ★★

Meryl Streep has had many memorable performances, but her role as Miranda Priestly, editor in chief for mogul fashion magazine 'Runway', is arguably her most memorable in the last decade. She really made this film entertaining with cold and subtle stares that could pierce right through a person, and hilarious snide remarks to Andy, played by Anne Hathaway. Streep was both convincing at being both powerful and cruel, yet at the same time was able to project a hint of weakness to her tough exterior. Miranda would have to be one of the most famous movie villains of the 21st century, even if she is only a person doing her job.

There were two things that bothered me about this film. I'm not a fan of one of the messages this film gives to women. Andy just wanted to survive her job and succeed as far as she could. This meant that she sometimes had to be late to dinners and at one stage she missed her boyfriends birthday. However, she would have been fired if she didn't. I understand that it hurts to have a loved one to miss a birthday, but if the boyfriend expects Andy to lose her job because he would like her to be at dinner, then he's not a good boyfriend. There are many scenes where he guilt trips her with puppy dog eyes and she succumbs to it. It leaves the audience feeling like she should've sacrificed her career for him.

This audience member believes that he should have had to compromise with her. Instead, he got everything he wanted in the end. The Devil Wears Prada did not send a message that a relationship is full of compromise. It sent the message that if the relationship was going to work, she needed to give up her career and revert back to her old self. Although she did step on a few toes to become successful, Andy was still a nice person and tried her best to make the relationship work. This would have been a 3 star movie if it ended with her leaving the boyfriend and the job and starting a fresh new life without these things dragging her down.

In saying all this, I found this film entertaining to a degree and exciting. Stanley Tucci was genius as Nigel (Andy's mentor and friend in the workplace), and Emily Blunt was marvellous as Emily, the super ambitious and bitchy first assistant of Miranda. I found the most character development in Emily, who in the end told Andy's replacement "You have BIG shoes to fill," showing that she respected Andy after all and would miss her. It's a good movie, but not great.

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