The devil wears the wilderness well.
Devil attacks when it’s easy – when we are vulnerable and in need. Our basic desires are attacked with temptation: Bread for the hungry. Riches for the poor. Power for the weak.
But is this true: What is it the hungry truly need, but any meal. What do the poor need for but simply the ability to pay their way. Do the weak need anything but equality with others?
So should that be our desires are: Bread for the glutton? Riches for the materialist? Power for the mercenary?
Remember that the devil offers not from what we need, but from our desires. So a word of caution to those who would give up chocolate this lent in the hope of loosing a few pounds. Is your self denial focussing upon God or actually a reflection of your own desires?
So it was then that in an attempt to simply pay her way in the world: Andrea an ambitious journalist graduate who was unable to get a foot in the employment door and who is at the end of a long search for jobs, arrives at Runway a fashion magazine to end all others. It just so happens that the in the 2006 film, the Devil decided to wear Prada that day.
Andrea, (Anne Hathaway) is from what we might call the ordinary world of functional clothes and choosing what to wear based on the weather. She ends up in the deepest deep end of the fashion world with no real understanding of what she has walked into. And there, of course the devil is waiting.
Miranda, the head of this fashion icon in print is about to make a devious entrance. As the imminent arrival is announced the office goes wild with activity in attempting to live up to her expectations. Desks are cleared, shoes are changed, rails of clothes moved round and round, last minute make up applied – image is of course everything.
Miranda (Meryl Streep) or perhaps we might say the devil’s advocate decides to play a little game with Andrea. If you want an unblemished apple, you pick one from the tree. If you want an assistant who you can train, get one who doesn’t already think she knows the job. If you want someone whose fashion you can tailor to your own designs? Find someone who considers it irrelevant to their life. If you are the devil in the job of temptation you make sure you strike at true weaknesses. Andrea is a mystery – what is she doing here? Clearly no interest in fashion and not intimidated by the name she doesn’t know. Here’s a challenge for the devil, what might her weakness be, how best to wear her down?
Here’s to jobs that pay the rent is the toast that night with her bemused friends who cannot believe she has a job with ‘that woman’. But Andi is determined not to get sucked into this world, she’ll be answering phones and getting coffee, surely a ball gown will not be required. Andi begins her new job. The baptism of fire begins with a rude awakening at 6am. Paris fashion week? Andi seems to have no interest. One pair size eight ‘Jimmy Choo’s’? (I had to look that up) not a second glance.
Intersting, the girl is unmoved, so there is a need to increase the pressure. Andi is called into the office and is unable to answer a baffling array of requests, most of which were probably meaningless. But here comes the killer blow, no words, just a look, a long lingering look that says it all. Andi retreats to her desk and slips quickly into the Jimmy Choo’s. Gotcha! Time to slip home the advantage with a little dig or two: How about size, weight?
Andi goes down with fighting talk: “Why should I change everything about me just because I have this job.” To which the reply comes “Of course that’s what this multi-million dollar industry is about isn’t it – inner beauty.” Ouch.
We find the little demons aka ‘office staff’ running back and forth trying to live up to the expectations set so high they fail with almost comical regularity. But amongst those who jump and twitch at her every comment or command there is a calm cool individual. Not phased by the devilish requirements, neither overawed by the mere presence of this woman. As Andrea is at the beginning of her downfall, can it be that in the heart of this place lies a little salvation? Perhaps after all there is a glimpse of the Easter resurrection even in the midst of the dirty devil games of desire.