Don’t judge a character based on the plot.
If you’re a fashion enthusiast, then you’ve probably watched The Devil Wears Prada, a classic. The movie is based on the 2003 novel by Lauren Weisberger and is believed to be based on Anna Wintour and her assistant. Regardless, that doesn’t get in the way of us questioning Miranda Priestley’s character played by the Oscar-winning actress, Meryl Streep. Given the numerous times, Miranda made Andy Sachs cry, and the way others looked at her as an arrogant leader, made it easier for anyone to go along with it, but a critique can beg to differ.
To start with, I’ve always admired Miranda Priestly for her commitment towards Runway, her fashion magazine. In a world where fashion is still seen as a frivolous industry, her character will always be relevant to prove that it’s not. Haven’t you watched her infamous cerulean speech, which broke down the complex yet powerful effect of the fashion industry? That remark she made about a shade of blue on how it starts on the runway then gets “filtered down through the department stores…” has answered all our burning questions about the lifecycle of trends in one single monologue. What. A. Genius. It was easy for many to criticize her for being critical of the fashion show collections by James Holt and the ideas of proposing florals for spring, but I think her sharp eye was fair for a powerful editor-in-chief, like herself, to keep quality in check. Being the lady leading “the shining beacon of hope” for fashion enthusiasts all around the world, Mrs. Priestly deserves an award for doing it right.
Making tough decisions
The art of making difficult decisions is not something everyone can master. The climax of the movie was set around replacing the old and wise Miranda Priestly with the young Jacqueline Follet, but the twist came as a shock to Andy and Nigel. Miranda Priestly puts herself first and sacrifices Nigel’s career. While it may be easy for anyone of us to criticize that move, I don’t think any ambitious person would act any different. On occasion, you may not even realize you’re doing something similar, like when Andy Sachs took over Emily’s chance to go to Paris. “I don’t care if she was going to fire you or beat you with a red hot poker, you should’ve said no,” Emily tells her. Think about it, she could’ve refused, but she didn’t.
People wouldn’t enter Mrs. Priestly’s office without fidgeting or practicing what to say. Like most elements, it was important to Miranda to maintain control over a gigantic magazine that dictates the fashion sphere, but some of her actions were unnecessary. Seeing her throw her coats either at Emily or Andy, having no regard for the existence of their personal lives and getting her assistants to do her children’s homework made me hate her a bit. Nevertheless, her character made all those watching TDWP to relate to any servitude they’ve got themselves into. For some of you, watching Andy leave Miranda, helped work up the courage to leave your Miranda (AKA mean boss).
Celebrating ambitious women
Meryl Streep, who played Miranda Priestly, is celebrated for her moving performances and is the best actress of her generation. In this role, she portrayed both the bitterness and celebration of success with poise. People like Nigel stood by Miranda, but a slight drop of confidence or a small shake to her tough facade could’ve made her the most vulnerable one in the room. She made millions realize that women can be bossy, and that’s completely normal. Remember that moment in Paris, she opened up briefly about her divorce? “If you speak to him [Stephen] and he decides to rethink the divorce, then yes, fetch away…. Another divorce. Splashed across ‘Page Six’. Just imagine what they’re going to write about me. ‘The Dragon Lady. Career-obsessed. Snow Queen drives away another Mr. Priestly.’ Rupert Murdoch should cut me a check for all the papers I sell for him. Anyway, I don’t… I don’t really care what anybody writes about me…” Despite the tough times, her character stands by girls who want to be anything they want, whether you’re talented, strong, successful, honest and more!
Throughout the film, there were a million reasons to hate Miranda Priestly for making Andy’s life miserable. Unpopular opinion: I think Andy had a lot to complain about, she didn’t take the job seriously, acted silly by listening to the twins, gave in to her selfish boyfriend, Nate. He made Andy’s life more difficult than her boss; she was eventually kicking a** at work, but all he could think of was how frivolous the fashion industry was. The day that she rushes home after the red carpet event for this birthday, putting aside the chance to meet the network of Christian Thompson, through which she had a chance to get to her dream job, Nate blew her off.
If you look back at the movie, Miranda hired the girl with the lumpy sweater to work in fashion, gave her bigger responsibilities and even wanted her by her side in Paris. For a fresh graduate like Andy Sachs, the most valuable lessons were learned in the footsteps of a tough role model like Miranda Priestly. Andy herself was a close-minded person, who thought anything that didn’t interest her had nothing to do with her while she was wearing a shade that was—in the words of Miranda—“ chosen by the people this room…from a pile of stuff.”
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