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Working Girl Deception

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In 1988, the icon, Mike Nichols, found success directing the film, Working Girl. Nichols was not new to earning fame from his films, nor was he new to directing pictures dealing with work in America. Working Girl came at a time when equality was attempting to urge its way in to the workplace. Women were able to be confident outside of the home and were entering the work force at high speed. The film showcases a woman in the workplace, Tess McGill (Melanie Griffith), and her battle to be taken seriously in the hustle and bustle of New York’s dog eat dog world, even if it is through a bit of deception. The character of Tess, her point of view, her glamorous wardrobe, and the out of scene soundtrack, bring together this central theme and tell…show more content…
Katharine leaves on a ski trip and ends up breaking her leg, leaving Tess to attend to her needs at home in New York. Tess decides it is her time to shine and uses the position to get herself heard by the right people. One would think this deception would paint Tess as the bad guy, after all, she is lying, but it is viewed differently. She is faking it, “but this is not presented as a character flaw. Tess has been convinced, and the audience has been asked to believe, and she has no other choice” (45). The unethical treatment has awarded Tess a desired position in the story and the audience will support her through the challenge of getting her voice heard. Through her first job in the film and her position under Katharine, Tess knew she was not being treated fairly and was losing hope. Her view of “hard work and a better life [was] more difficult to see when [she worked] for other people, because in doing so [she gives] up control” (Ciula 70). Tess found her motivation to do what needed to be done, she took control of her own route up the…show more content…
The soundtrack to Tess draws on emotion. Her life may be dramatic with the lies and steals, but the use of sound allows her work to be emotional. Every big move she is making that involves someone else is parallel with music to show that. More importantly, Carly Simon herself was hired to score the film for Mike Nichols. The popular single, “Let the River Run”, became the soundtrack hit for the film and for working women everywhere. The music was the perfect accompaniment to Tess’s journey. Simon is quoted as mentioning the song was inspired by the film’s opening scene of New York City, “The opening sequence was so grand with its images of the Hudson River, the Statue of Liberty and the gleaming steel buildings that it seemed to call up a Walt Whitman feel…From the beginning, I thought it should be a hymn with a jungle beat. To me, there was something very grand yet jungle-like about the story of these naïve secretaries going every day into the Wall Street jungle”
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