Wednesday, September 27, 2006


THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA (comedy satire)
Cast: Meryl Streep, Anne Hathaway, Stanley Tucci and Emily Blunt
Director: David Frankel
Time: 105 mins
Rating: * * * (out of 4)

Streep and Hathaway
WHAT’S IT ABOUT? A frumpy fresh grad, Andy Sachs (Anne Hathaway), applies for a job at the high class fashion magazine Runway as personal assistant to its editor Miranda Priestley (Meryl Streep), a boss straight out of Hell. She gets the job and realises that in order to fit in, she has to change. Not just her sense of fashion and her body size, but also her lifestyle, her sense of values and her friends. In short, she gets seduced by the Dark Side of the Force and becomes a slave to Miranda.

WHAT’S THE BIG DEAL? Lauren Weisberger’s novel, upon which this movie is based, stirred the interest of the fashion industry and fashion-watchers. It had many readers trying to match fictional characters with their real-life counterparts. For those who aren't members of the fashion inner circle, the satire is obvious but some of its targets may not be. The movie is relentless in its cynical attitude toward a culture obsessed with style and an industry that wallows in its own self-importance.

HIGHLIGHTS: There are basically two plots at work here: the almost brutal attack on the fashionistas (nicely supported by veteran Stanley Tucci as Nigel, Andy’s mentor) and the melodrama on the life of Andy who represents every woman out to carve out a career in the high stakes world. As the protag, Hathaway is believable enough, blending in with the story rather standing out. Streep, as expected, is the icing on the cake as the Cruela De Vil of fashion. She has rather few scenes but they crackle with energy whenever she appears. Blunt and Tucci too hold their own in this juicy satire that should delight women audiences and fashion followers.

LOWLIGHTS: The pace seems to slacken when the movie shifts from satire mode to melodrama. Andy’s personal life is boring and clichéd but I guess this is intentional. Also, note that her job as Miranda's assistant, which "every girl would kill for", is a lot of bull. She is nothing more than an errand girl to her boss, so what's there to kill for it?

THE LOWDOWN: A witty, well-made comedy and a welcome change to the recycled stuff we have these days.


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