Monday, 27 August 2007

DVD: The Devil Wears Prada

Lowdown: A fashionable Cinderella story.
No doubt about it: Dylan Wears Prada is as much of a chicks' flick as a film can ever be. That, however, may not necessarily be a bad thing. Which, however, does not mean that Prada is not a bad film; it is pretty bad.
We've seen that film before: Anne Hathaway plays a young idealist woman who just graduated with enough aspirations and skills to ensure world peace, but the journalist job she's craving for is just not there. Instead, she has to settle for a job as the PA of an editor of a high caliber Vogue like fashion magazine, aka Meryl Streep. On her part, which is a very limited part because she doesn't change her facial expression throughout the film, Streep is the devil incarnate employer: totally selfish, totally demanding, totally inconsiderate; in short, the boss you and describe to our friends when we moan just how bad work is, regardless of whether there's much truth behind our moans.
Somehow, Hathaway becomes convinced that through the tortures of her job she will have the world's best jobs available to her. And so, Jesus Hathaway suffers her boss' torments to the best of her abilities, in the process sacrificing to the devil all she has (as in friends and time) and all of the ideals she used to have to move ahead in life. Will she become Satan incarnate instead of the innocent idealistic girl she was before? Is there any point in raising this question, given that this is, after all, the most typical of typical American films?
So yeah, in case you don't get it, I didn't like Prada in the least. It's as stimulating as yesterday morning's cup of coffee is tonight. There is nothing in it to keep you on your toes, nothing to build any tension, nothing but very flat characters: Hathaway on one side, tons of others who think that clothes make the person on the other side, and an inconclusive statement regarding the question of whether the clothes make the person at the end. It's not just the end, the film entire tries to say that status items don't matter on one hand, while glorifying all the status items you can think of with the other half of its mouth. After all, one doesn't want to go against the capitalistic fashion world too hard!
Best scene: Hathaway decides to go with the flow, abandon her old clothing and get herself "properly" dressed. As in, fashion magazine fashionably dressed. Thing is, in my opinion she looked better before the transformation. I think authenticity is the word to be used here. Then again, you can tell a lot of my fashion inclinations by the fact I've never heard of said brand before Devil Wears Prada came out.
Picture quality: Sub par. There's no noise, but there are digital artifacts, significant lack of details, and unsaturated colors. The best example for the trouble is in the Hathaway's hair: there is no detail there; it just looks like a blob of black.
Sound quality: Worse than pretty ordinary. Surround action is limited to the occasional musical bits.
Overall: Boring and as original as a newspaper from a decade ago. 2 out of 5 stars.

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