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Purdue PSY 12000 - Film Review: The Devil Wears Prada

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Last name: 1Name:Instructor:Course:Date:Film Review: The Devil Wears PradaBased on a 2003 novel by Lauren Weisberger of the same name, the 2006 film—The Devil Wears Prada—tracks a young assistant as she learns to make life choices (“The Devil Wears Prada”). Anne Hathaway (playing as Andrea/Andy Sachs) and Meryl Streep (as Miranda Priestly) are the movie’s chief protagonists. The plot’s narrator, Andy, goes through considerable mistreatment from her boss, Miranda. It is, however, difficult to cast Miranda entirely as a villain. Her success as a powerful executive of Runaway fashion magazine also lends her role a terribly interesting quality. Granted, Andy had no plans of ever working in the cutthroat fashion industry. She is, after all, a recent law graduate from Northwestern University. Still, the pressuresof delivering clothes to customers who continually demand what is in vogue leave little room for survival for a down-to-earth woman like Andy. Thus, while the film depicts Miranda as a malicious protagonist, she nonetheless plays an important part in her assistant’s professional growth. Point of View Weisberger tells her tale from Andy’s, first-person point of view. The approach affects theLast name: 2plot in several ways. According to the book Telling the Tale, “One the great advantages of the first-person story is that it puts [the audience] inside the narrator’s head” (Bodden). It is thus easyto understand why Andy does what she does. On watching The Devil Wears Prada, for instance, one identifies with the tribulations that Miranda dishes out to her assistants.Notwithstanding, the movie’s dependence on Andy to tell the story is disadvantageous to some extent. Whereas Andy describes what she thinks of the other characters, sometimes in even a judgmental tone, there is no way the viewers can determine with certainty whether she is justified. In one scene, for example, Andy quips, “I don’t know what else I can do because if I dosomething right, it’s unacknowledged. [Miranda] doesn’t even say thank you. But if I do something wrong, she is vicious” (“The Devil Wears Prada”). Andy actually risks alienating the audience in the scene. She sounds boastful when she concludes that she is right and thus deservesaccolades from her boss. It would be more helpful, for instance, if there was another perspective to challenge Andy’s claims. The alternative point of view would have injected objectivity into thecompeting arguments on whether one protagonist is right or wrong. Choice of PlotThe Devil Wears Prada exhibits the character plot of transformation. In the text 20 Master Plots, Ronald Tobias states, “We always try to understand who we are and what is the essence of human nature, and sometimes we make discoveries about ourselves”. The description befits the manner Andy went through change because of the “dramatic moments of transition” at Runway magazine (Tobias).According to Tobias, a story’s plot qualifies to be transformative if a part of theLast name: 3protagonist’s life embodies a period of change. From the onset, Andy eyed a job as a journalist atRunway magazine. Fresh from Northwestern University, she accepts a stint as a junior assistant in the belief that it would make her ascendance into a journalist’s role at the magazine even easier. Although she fits poorly among the fashionistas at the company, she eventually transformsafter experiencing unending scorn from her colleagues and her boss. Character AnalysisAndy SachsAndy Sachs is the major protagonist in the film who signed up as a junior assistant to the chief editor of Runway magazine. Although she wishes to build a career in journalism, her boss keeps her away from actual writing with endless requests for personal errand runs. Thus, Andy faces an external conflict where the antagonist is her boss. She nonetheless strives to prevent her job at Runway from taking over her entire life. Her relationship with her boyfriend, Nate, for instance, gradually takes a back seat to her career challenges. Andy’s personality fits poorly with the demands of the fashion industry. Apart from her drab fashion sense, she is also overly modestand awkward. Her redeeming qualities are ambition and persistence. Despite earning a poor pay as a second assistant, she keeps on working for the overbearing editor-in-chief in the hope that she will get a break as a journalist at the magazine in the future (Tobias). Miranda PriestlyActing as the chief editor of Runway magazine, Miranda Priestly is without a doubt one of the other major characters in the film. From Andy’s point of view, she is the antagonist who is also the cause of the conflicts between them. Her status as a villain is, however, disputable. As aLast name: 4highly experienced fashionista, she may be simply attempting to put too much emphasis on teaching her juniors the ropes of the fashion industry. Because Miranda demands high standards from her staff, her assistants do not last long in their roles. Some of the traits that describe her include being commanding, driven, and precise. Similarly, the moniker “Devil” in the film’s title refers to her tendency of being too intense and uncompromising. NigelAlthough he plays a minor role in the movie, actor Stanley Tucci who plays Nigel shows that it is possible for the staff to attain a level of competence that Miranda demands. He is an editor at the magazine. His sense of duty is commendable, thus earning him a revered status as Miranda confidante. Apart from a keen sense of loyalty, he also has immense experience on how the fashion industry works. Everything seems to be working as expected for Nigel. As the film concludes, however, the viewers realize that he is not immune from the scheming Miranda. His role thus serves as a characterization device for Miranda’s personality. Other Minor CharactersMiranda’s senior assistant, Emily, and Lily, Andy’s friend, act as the minor female characters. There are also male sub-characters, such as Andy’s boyfriend, Andy’s father, Miranda’s husband, and Miranda’s boss (the owner of the magazine), who appear only minimallybut are pivotal to the character development of the major actors. Overarching Themes The Devil Wears Prada tackles numerous themes with one sweep. Among the most prominent is Andy’s transformation from a down-to-earth graduate into a personal assistant whoLast name: 5struggles with conforming to the demands of


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