The Adjustment Bureau
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- Director: George Nolfi
- Writers: George Nolfi, Philip K. Dick
- Stars: Matt Damon, Emily Blunt, Thoreson
- Release Date: March 2011
- Genre: Romance, Thriller
- Run Time: 105 min
Fight for your fate.
The Adjustment Bureau, written and directed by George Nolfi based on a short story by the name of Adjustment Team by Philip K. Dick, is about how much one would be willing to sacrifice in the name of love. Matt Damon plays David Norris, a young, ambitious, idealistic Congressman seeking election for a seat in the Senate. However, upon a short encounter with Elise (Emily Blunt), when they share a brief but meaningful kiss, David realizes his true love lies with Elise, not at the hands of registered voters of New York City. The adjustment bureau quickly notices the spark, and was determined to separate the two lovers because according to “the plan”, their love was never meant to be. David, however, refuses to back down, and fights against his fate to be with the one he loves.
What makes The Adjustment Bureau a truly great movie is that it sends a powerful message: don’t be afraid to go after what you want. Even if it means going against the will of a powerful, if not divine being. The movie makes it no secret that “the chairman” is a symbolism for God, and the people of the adjustment bureau are His angels (“we’ve been called that (angels)”, says Harry Mitchell, a member of the adjustment bureau in one scene). However, in the film, even God is not all powerful, as He only has limited enforcers in the adjustment bureau, so if a nuclear warfare were to break out, even He could not prevent the catastrophe that would follow.
The film also makes a strong case that free will does take its toll. As Thomson, another adjustment bureau member reminds us in another scene, that although “the chairman” has blessed us with the gifts of intellect and reason, it was those same gifts that caused the world to be on the brink of destruction during the Cuban missile crisis. To add additional pressure for David to keep away from Elise, Thomson informs David that if he chooses to be with her, not only will it ruin his dream, but will also ruin her dream (she is fated to be a famous dancer, and then a famous choreographer). As if to add insult to injury, Thomson flexes his muscle, causing Elise to sprain her ankle, then telling David that he is the one to blame for her injury.
After a few twists and turns, the film reaches its climax with a showdown between David and the Thomson, which was very exciting and kept me on the edge of my seat (as did all other parts of the movie), I have to admit that the resolution was a bit of a cop out (I won’t ruin it for you). In fact, if the movie had a resolution that was as epic as the rest of the storyline, I would not hesitate to give it 10/10 stars. Unfortunately, the ending did disappoint me a great deal, so as it stands, I’m giving it a 9/10.
As a final note, I would like to say that you were planning on watching this movie at all, you almost certainly should see it in the theater. Director George Nolfi (FYI, this is his first movie as director) incorporates beautiful cinematography, as well as great sound mixing (or is it sound editing? I’m not sure). I especially loved the clicking noise of the dressing shoes of Thomson and his enforcers against the tile floor as they chase down David to set him on his “correct” path. The noise was complimented by their perfect formation, as they all send a clear message: we are the ones in charge, and we WILL hunt you down.