Monday, October 02, 2006

The Devil Wears Prada - a review

Jolene mentioned it was good, so I did not object when the said film was suggested. This is called ‘faith’.

My review will consist of two parts: one without spoilers, another with.

Watchable. The big screen doesn’t do much difference to the viewing experience. Do not think too much while watching it; this is not a joint lecture by Roger Penrose and Stephen Hawking – it’s a Hollywood production.

Ethics demand that I warn the reader that the following text contains spoilers. Stop reading if you do not want to know the plot.

The essence of this plot is an unremarkable country girl in a big city kind of story. Not surprisingly for this kind of a plot, the protagonist is thrown into an environment where she does not fit, but manages to survive and then outrun the competition. In the process, her new lifestyle draws her further and further away from her friends and her love life also starts to fray. Of course, everything ends well with close-ups of the key cast smiling at their memories, and everyone being happy. A typically fuzzy, "awww"-inducing ending.

One important issue that appears to crop up is the transient nature of happiness when living the high-life. Of course, one cannot be sure if that is just an artefact of the plot or an intentional highlight by the director.

In this film, conformity is a presented as a good thing. In particular, satisfying the boss’s and colleague’s demands and fashion sense are of grave importance. The portrayal is such that the boss’s perception of the protagonist becomes a looming substitute for happiness. One scene which highlights this is where the boss wants something impossible done, and when it was not done, the demanding boss expresses her disappointment at the protagonist. The protagonist turns teary eyed and weepy even though it is no fault of hers.

Note of warning: don’t even ask where the protagonist got her clothes from. That question is beyond the scope of the film and this film review.

Memorable scene: the entire office panicking to tidy up when they learn that the boss will be arriving several hours early.

Predictable scene: the protagonist’s phone rings; she looks at it, ponders a moment and tosses it into a nearby body of water. And walks away with a spring in her step.