The Devil Wears Prada is a film based on Laurens Weinberger’s novel by the same name. The film came out in 2006 and it falls in the genre of comedy-drama. The film takes us inside the fashion industry. A young fresh graduate Andrea Sachs ‘Andy’ finds work as a personal assistant for a female dominating boss Miranda Priestly the editor of Runway magazine.
The fashion industry proves very challenging for Andy who has no experience in the fashion world. Her boss does not make it easy for her and soon she has to change to fit into the fashion world. There are many conflicts that arise in the workplace and some arise as work intersects with the characters’ personal lives because everyone wants to get to the top.
Andy joins the fashion world and her boss is very domineering. Her boss is very demanding and says that all her personal assistants have been a big disappointment. Andy has to cater for every whim of her boss who shows little consideration to her juniors.
She spends a lot of time at work and lacks an opportunity to be with her boyfriend Nate and her friend Lily. She even fails to attend his birthday as she had to attend to her boss. She bows down to her boss because she wants to get ahead in her career and is at her service day and night. She has no one to talk to about the mistreatment she is receiving from her boss because everyone is used to the boss’ cruelty.
Her friends who support her eventually run out of patience because she puts them at the back and her job takes all her time. Furthermore, they tell her she got herself in her present predicament. She has no one to rescue her from the conflict she finds herself in her workplace because everyone is intimidated by Miranda (The Devil Wears Prada).
Her work situation affects her personal life. Nate tells her she has become just like the people she once loathed in the job place. Moreover, Miranda’s tyrannical ways lead to a conflict between Andy and Emily. Emily planned to embarrass Miranda, but Andy prevented her from going through with the plan.
Consequently, Miranda awards her with a trip to Paris at the expense of Emily. Andy does not want to take Emily’s place in Paris, but she faces a threat of losing her job if she declines. Therefore, she accepts to go because she fears Miranda may actually dismiss her.
She informs Emily she will take her place in Paris. A conflict arises between Emily and Andy. Emily, the senior personal assistant mistreats Andy. Emily had also endured abuses from Miranda because she wanted to go to Paris. Therefore, the conflict between Miranda and Andy spreads to other employees in the organization. Each employee is forced to act selfishly at the expense of a colleague to keep their job secure.
The conflict in the Runway organisation spreads from the top to the bottom. Miranda the boss abuses Andy. She is plainly disrespectful by calling her fat. She intimidates her employees because she wants to maintain her position at the top. She causes conflict because she believes it is either her way or the highway.
Andy has to change her dressing mode as hers was considered bland. After she changes and starts dressing well, she also becomes very aggressive. Her work improves and Emily feels threatened. Consequently, the employees below Miranda have to do what she says if they want to make it to the top. They do not care who they step on as long as they feel their position is threatened and therefore conflicts arise in the organization as mistrust grows among them.
The success of the employees is determined by the things they can do for the boss and not necessarily by their competence in their line of work. For example, Miranda demands Andy to do some difficult tasks for her such as booking a flight during a hurricane yet with the bad weather no planes fly. On the other hand, the employees allow the boss to undermine and humiliate them on their way up their careers ladder. They are willing to take any kind of treatment even if it conflicts with their beliefs.
There is a conflict between job seekers expectations and the reality at the workplace. Andy joined the Runway magazine expecting to eventually become and reporter or a writer. She finds the job difficult at first with the unreasonable demands of her boss and her gossipy co-workers.
Luckily for her, Nigel the art director comes to her rescue and helps her adapt to her new work. Eventually she gets a grip and finds her way around her new job. She also embraces a new dressing style, seeing that her old dressing does not suit the Runway and she is taunted by her boss and even the doorman does not spare her the taunts. The reality is that it is hard to scale up the career ladder in an organization for newcomers as people inside try to protect their positions.
Besides, Andy does not get any form of training, yet Miranda expects her to perform her work perfectly. Without proper training new employees cannot function well and will find themselves in conflicts in the workplace. For example, at the beginning Andy does not fit with the image of Runway and until she makes a decision to change her stint is as a personal assistant is difficult. Hence, a fresh job entrant is disappointed if they think the way up is going to be easy.
The conflicts in the Runway affects even employees who are not involved. For instance, after Miranda learns that her editor position is at risk she does not hesitate to through Nigel in the line.
Andy had warned her in advance about the impending coup, but Miranda tells her she already knew, unfortunately it is Nigel who would be sacrificed. Andy accuses her boss of backstabbing Nigel, but Miranda tells her she had already done it to Emily when she accepted to go to Paris. Andy is enraged, and when Miranda tells her she sees traces of her personality in her.
Moreover, she tells Andy she had acted exactly as she would have to keep her job. Later on Andy realized that she had changed into a person she did not like, walks out of the Runway to pursue her interests away from the conflicts and the fashion world. Therefore, in an organization many conflicts may arise and it is up to the employees to know how to cope so that they can have an easy time at the workplace and avoid disappointments that are often a part of office politics.
The Devil Wears Prada. Dir. Frankel, David. Perf . Meryl Streep, Anna Hathaway, Emily Blunt , Simon Baker, Adrian Grenier, Stanley Tucci. 20th Century Fox, 2006. DVD.