Mrs. Harris Goes To Paris

  • 12 Nov - 18 Nov, 2022
  • Mag The Weekly
  • Reviews

When a cleaning lady becomes obsessed with an exclusive haute couture Christian Dior dress, she decides to get one for herself. Her dream takes her on a roller coaster ride of emotions, relationships and a revolution at one of the biggest fashion houses in Paris.

Ada Harris’ (Lesley Manville) routine life gets an unexpected twist the minute she sets her eyes on an exquisite Dior gown worth five hundred pounds, in one of the houses she works at, as a cleaning lady. Clearly, it’s not a piece of luxury fashion she can afford nor does she lead a life that gives her an opportunity to wear it. Yet, Ada is adamant on having it for herself, even if it means working extra hard, starving, or even gambling to buy herself a ticket to Paris and shop for her dream wardrobe. But little does Ada know that just landing in Paris with wads of cash isn’t enough to own such a coveted piece of haute couture. It’s a privilege that is reserved only for the rich and the famous. So when Ada shows up uninvited at the Dior headquarters in Paris and gate crashes the exclusive showing of the brand’s 10th anniversary collection, she sets off a chain of unexpected events.

Director Anthony Fabian and his writers transport us into Ada’s world quite brilliantly from the very first scene. It’s a world where no good deed goes unpunished or unrewarded. Veteran English actress Lesley Manville makes it so easy for us to root for Ada, who dreams bigger than her means and goes all out for strangers without expecting anything in return. Manville’s portrayal is so authentic and endearing that she makes us live each and every emotion of her character. The 1950s America and Paris are beautifully recreated with minutest details. The nightlife, the impeccable fashion of the time and the life in general is captured with impressive nuances and absolute finesse.

The screenplay moves at a slow pace but keeps us engaged with its mild unpredictability and an emotionally rich climax. There is an overarching feel-good factor and the narrative is filled with hope. Fabian’s storytelling is enhanced by a soothing background score and the choice of the actors and their pitch perfect get-ups. There are moments when it seems all too convenient and like a fairy tale but it is done with conviction.

‘Mrs Harris Goes to Paris’ is a sweet and endearing tale of love, hope and dreams with a striking old-world charm that will ensure you leave the cinema hall with a smile on your face.