July 6th, 2006
“In a Nutshell”® rating: 8/10.
Read Review at IMDB
Set in the glitter world of fashion, “Devil Wears Prada” reaches the level of simplicity and complexity that is highly desirable, but uncommon in Hollywood.
Andrea Sachs (played by Anne Hathaway) is a journalism graduate who comes to NYC for a journalism job but ends up as the second assistant to Miranda Priestley (played by Meryl Streep), the chief editor of top fashion magazine “Runway”.
While people all around her tell her that the position is one that ‘a million girls would kill for’, Andrea (Andy) is less impressed and considers it merely her temp job for a year (“to the jobs that pay the rent”). Her upbringing and ethics have her convinced that fashion is a trivial activity, that should matter very little in life. Subtle changes in her thinking as she progresses in the fashion world and the first “all consuming” job that fresh graduates typically experience are the highlights of the movie.
["..better you do at work, more your personal life suffers.. When your personal life is completely blown away, know that you are due for a promotion.." -- Nigel (played by Stanley Tucci)]
The movie is refreshingly simple and does not fall for the “love triangle caused by confusion” or the “loving mom, terrible boss” traps. It stays close to its theme, and does so in a light, fun manner. Still under its deceptive simplicity lie nuances of complexity. During a conversation between Andy and Miranda, when driving to the premier fashion event in Paris, Miranda points out that though they may appear to be very different from each other, Andy is just a younger reflection of herself. This lighter touch manifestation of Narcissus and Goldmund is a highlight of the movie. Through a subtle touch of Andy’s seduction by a writer, the duality of good in bad and bad in good is highlighted in passing. A very brief scene of the New York Mirror office at the end (where fashion indeed does not matter), highlights the issue of “my perspective is my universe (and rightly so)”.
This may be a sleeper hit of 2006, and may get a nomination for best supporting actress for Meryl Streep.