Monday, August 8, 2011

The Adjustment Bureau Review

“The Adjustment Bureau” in my opinion is similar to some other ideas that have been around and expressed in a remake of “The Outer Limits” where there are people behind the scenes that change the sets for our home, work, store etc. before we get there because there is a limited amount of space.  This gives the reasoning for those moments when we
“swear” we left our wallet on the dresser but somehow it is on the coffee table because the “workers” made a mistake resetting the scene.  In order for this to work like clockwork, our actions have to be pre-determined. 

“The Adjustment Bureau” works in a similar fashion where we have two star crossed lovers who are NOT destined to be together.  David Norris (Matt Damon) is running for New York Senator and meets the woman of his dreams, Elise (Emily Blunt) is in the men’s room before a concession speech David must give.  The rest of the movie David is desperately and obsessively trying to find Elise, only to come across her unexpectedly 11 months later.  The encounters are brief but I feel the writers gave me an adequate glimpse into their passion and I felt the chemistry between the two was enough to want them to be together.  The “Adjustment Bureau” is a group of men who use special powers to intervene in our lives to make sure we make certain choices that lead to particular people who shape the direction of our lives.  Have you ever looked back at your life and thought about all the people you met, conversations you had, how it affected your ideas, choices and goals in life?  It can seem quite amazing that all of those events led to your happiness, or unhappiness in some cases but this is the basic idea of the movie.

I haven’t heard much talk about the movie and I can’t help but wonder why.  I suppose there are some that feel the premise is absurd since they may be Atheists however I do think the premise works best for Western minded individuals.  Many of the Eastern folks don’t get too concerned with what their deity is doing in their lives as much as they are devoted to living out the truth that is inside them.  In this adventure drama there is a clear force that is working against the two main characters and becomes the protagonist in this story.  What is interesting is that since “The Chairman” decides the course that people should take he is perceived as a villain because “The Chairman” wants something other than what the characters want.  This is the main problem perhaps the writers wanted to convey that many of us feel at times when we feel god does not have the best intentions in mind for us.  How my choices affect fate is the question we are left with?  Is my life going poorly because I caused it to go that way or does god want me to have a bad life?  Why do other people seem to have everything fall together for them?

In this movie there is a reason given for why “The Chairman” decides the course for each person in the world.  I think it makes a great deal more sense too when considering the ending when that reason is compared to how these two characters end up.  I found myself asking what choices do I take for granted and if so, how does that affect my future?  If you believe in a god who is all powerful, how much does that god affect your life, your choices, your desires?  Is Serendipity real?  I would like to think so, but I also think “free will” is an undeniable law as well.  I find that the closer I “feel” to my God, the more my choices are what He would intend for me anyway.


  1. Good review. I might check this movie out.

  2. Love the "Outer Limits" comparisons!