May 6, 2007

Here Chicky, Chicky

I have always maintained that god must be a woman. I like it that way for it makes it easier for me to connect to God. Imagine my surprise when I saw The Devil Wears Prada and realized that the devil could be a woman too. The film is based on 2003 best-selling novel of the same name by Laura Weisberger. Excuse my ignorance but I never knew about the book till the time the film came out. Power to cinema! When the film finally hit Indian screens I was at a stage in life wherein I didn’t fancy watching a chick-flick.

But I was wrong.

To the uninitiated, chick flick is the slang for a movie that appeals mainly to women or young girls, either by design or popular consensus. It’s a relatively new term but I wouldn’t worry too much about that part as everything these days is relatively new! Devil Wears Prada, the book, is a prime example of ‘chick lit’ and spent six months on the New York Times bestseller list. The novel was widely seen as a roman à clef, a novel describing real-life events behind a facade of fiction, about Vogue magazine’s iconic editor-in-chief, Anna Wintour as Weisberger had cooled her heels as an intern there. That kind of back-story did help the book but Weisberger has always denied it. Check out the picture below for the striking resemblance!

The Devil Wears Prada being my first chick flick, made me ask myself a few basic questions. If the intern was the protagonist and the Devil was everything bad because the intern refuses the Devil’s offer of a good fashionable life, then why am I sympathizing with the freaking Devil by the end of the movie? Perhaps because Anne Hathaway who plays the intern to Meryl Streep’s Devil, is miscast and how! She tries so hard to look effortless that it’s not even funny. Even in the scenes when she’s trying to explain, to her boyfriend, her almost slave like dedication to her boss she can’t help but sigh and look around for clues as if she were a present day Al Pacino. What was Weisberger thinking? How could Weisberger settle for someone so pedestrian to portray a character supposedly based on her!?

Throughout the film Devil is portrayed as something bad and evil but trust Meryl Streep to sway you, you can’t help but love her! Even though the Devil’s tough as nuts exterior starts showing cracks and she develops a soft corner for the intern, the intern scoots away but in the end even the intern can’t help but look up to the devilish boss.

So did I miss the point?

Or is it that the ‘chick’ to root for and love in this ‘chick flick’ is the older ‘chick’ and not the obvious younger ‘chick’!? After all this is marketing terminology and hail whatever helps to sell! Do we really need terms such as chick flicks or chick lit?? If we do and if people want to see them then one word of advice choose your medium correctly for no one- chick or not- would settle for Anne Hathaway and whatever she projects if the other end of the spectrum offers the Devil oops I mean Meryl Streep! When the intern ho and hums about still preserving the integrity of her soul all Meryl Streep’s Devil does is sigh and summarize it by saying, “You sold your soul the first time you put on that pair of Jimmy Choos.” I might not know chick lit and I might not know what a woman really wants but I know they love shoes and that can make a devil out of any chick. All I could understand of this ‘chick’ thingy was that I’m supposed to choose good over bad (shoes included)…but hasn’t that been the case ever since!

Picture Courtesy:

1 Responses to “Here Chicky, Chicky”

  • I have issues with this movie, just as I have with most lit and flick "chick". Don't get me wrong. I am no authority on movie making or acting, so I'll not venture into that space here. But its the story and the characters, and what they subscribe to eventually, that leaves me a very worried woman. Ok, not worried but wondering definitly, wondering about why do choices of 'love' and professional aspiration for a woman have to be at odds. Why is it that in a dog-eat-dog world a hard working, ambitious male goes on to become a "Jerry Mcguire", and hey, he gets his lady love too who would kis sthe ground he walks on, but an ambitious, capable woman needs to be 'redeemed' from 'debauched, materialistic' world if she remotely shows any signs of being ambitious and, god forbid, does get some measure of success ...why, for the love of god, should she be apologetic about what she did and what she achieved? I cringed in that scene with her boyfriend (who, I thought, was such a loser)where she nearly apologises to him.
    I might be splitting hair here, but this thought does merit some deliberation!!!
  • Post a Comment