REVIEW: Prada: Candy [2013]

Score: 5/10 | ★ ★

Rating: NR | Runtime: 3 minutes | Release Date: March 25th, 2013 (France)
Studio: Prada
Director(s): Wes Anderson & Roman Coppola

“I baked a cake”

The message appears to be that Prada will make you irresistible as well as vain enough to yearn for the attention it demands. I guess this means it’s a job well done being that Prada: Candy is a commercial, but as a short film it’s lacking in showing us something other than fun frivolity. It definitely has Wes Anderson‘s visual style and Roman Coppola‘s dry wit, but I don’t think anyone would care if it didn’t involve them. So, in the end, it’s merely a depiction of a cash grab on their behalf—a sort of blank check to go crazy with a huge budget for three minutes.

Candy (Léa Seydoux) becomes a metaphor for the eponymous perfume—an alluring woman who captures the attention of not one but two Parisian gentlemen. Julius (Rodolphe Pauly) claims her first and Gene (Peter Gadiot) arrives to see if she’s everything he’s said she was. Mild jealousy sets in which she diffuses by enjoying the company of both and eventually she has them doing whatever she wants because they cannot say no. In other words: men are driven by the scent to dote, smile, and lose all sense of self. But just because the woman/perfume is in control, doesn’t mean the film doesn’t also simultaneously objectify her/it.

It’s a perfume ad, though, so maybe we shouldn’t read too far into it. If that’s the case, why make such a big deal out of it? I know Anderson is a huge name and people salivate at the sight of anything his hipster aesthetic delivers, but that certainty cannot sustain itself unless given more time to become an actual story. It is, however, a delight as far as metaphorical, New Wave-esque commercials go. So if that’s what matters to you, have at it. I was expecting more than just an intoxicating drug leading two victims along despite being annoyed by the futility of it all.

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