When a young college graduate, Andrea Sachs, lands a job working for
“Runway” fashion magazine, she thinks that her dreams of being a journalist are about to come true. Her dreams are soon put to the ultimate test when she meets Miranda Priestly, the magazine’s executive, who reigns as a goddess of fashion over her empire, while terrorizing Andrea with her desire for extreme perfection. Will Andrea find a way to transform her dream into reality or will Miranda’s high expectations destroy her spirit?
Identity is an ironic theme in “The Devil Wears Prada” and nowhere is this theme more vividly illustrated than in the characters of Miranda and Andrea.
Meryl Streep’s character, Miranda Priestly, is a woman who demands perfection in every detail of what she does. She wields her power like a sword, but in truth, this is all a mask that she wears so no one knows how she really feels. I think Miranda Priestly demands perfection from the people working for her as a means of maintaining control because her personal life is so…broken. When the mask of perfection falls away, Miranda’s life reveals an altogether different story. In truth, Miranda is a vulnerable and lonely woman who must be strong for her two, young daughters because their world is about to be destroyed in the wake of a tragic divorce. She is not the monster that everyone makes her out to be. She is a just woman trying desperately to keep her world intact the only way she knows how: control.
When Andrea begins her job at “Runway” she is a clumsy and unattractive young woman who desires nothing more than to land a job working as a successful journalist. Although she is initially terrified of Miranda’s power, Andrea is willing to do whatever it takes to make Miranda happy. As she is drawn deeper into Miranda’s world, there is a moment when Andrea undergoes a physical and emotional transformation; a transformation that allows her to cast off the fragile and unattractive woman she was when she came into Miranda’s world and become the strong, beautiful and confident young woman that she truly is.
“The Devil Wears Prada” is a brilliantly told film that brings to life the world of high class fashion and illustrates imperfect people striving to live perfect lives in an imperfect world. The casting for this film is flawless, but Meryl Streep shines as Miranda Priestly, embodying both sides of her character in a way that is both hilarious and sincere. If you enjoy a good dramatic comedy, then this film is definitely worth your time.