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The Adjustment Bureau

The Adjustment Bureau

What She said:

She

Wow, I thought I knew what The Adjustment Bureau was about, but boy what I wrong.  First of all, this movie is a love story beyond all else.  That doesn’t make it a bad movie by any means, but it’s something to consider.  You have to be one of those people who believes that the kind of love that Matt Damon feels for Emily Blunt actually exists, otherwise you might get frustrated.  The film is sort of a thriller, but it’s not exactly edge-or-your-seat either.  It also discusses faith and spirituality in a way that may not resonate with everyone.

So, that said, I liked the movie.  There are some moments where the plot gets a little slow, but it’s also surprisingly light.  I wonder if they meant for it to be deeper than it is?  Damon plays David Norris, a politician who has a chance encounter with the girl of his dreams, Elise Sellas, played by Blunt.  Meeting her changes his life—it’s sort of one of those love-at-first-sight things—and so he becomes dedicated to finding her again.  But the movie has a twist in that we learn our world is governed by a higher power who scripts our “plans” out for us.  If we’re not meant to do something or be with a person then special forces will step in to ensure this doesn’t happen.  Simply put, Damon is not meant to be with Blunt, and so their journey of love is a long and uphill battle. 

The whole theory seems a bit complicated at times, but it really doesn’t have to be.  The core of it is very basic.  There are some introspective questions that the viewer is presented with: Would you throw away your success for the sake of love?  Would you challenge the supreme being?  Can you tread off the beaten path?  Etc.  It’s interesting, and the film is the right length.  It doesn’t try to do too much or overwhelm the viewer.  I also very much enjoyed the score by Thomas Newman.

Thumbs up.

What he said:

He

David Norris (Matt Damon) is an up-and-coming politician. He is quickly gaining popularity and looks to be on the fast track to success.  One of the biggest reasons for his appeal is his down-to-earth nature. He is a common man. Maybe even a little too much for it to be entirely believable, but the movie is a fantasy so it’s forgivable.

Over the course of the film, there are two events that will not only change his career, but also his entire life. 

First, he meets a woman. Not just any woman either, but apparently the love of his life. Elise (Emily Blunt) is a wisecracking free spirit who also notices the chemistry between the two of them. Ironically, the second event also revolves around Elise.

Just as the two really start hit it off, a group of mysterious men interfere and try to do everything in their power to prevent the two from carrying their relationship out any further. And boy-oh-boy do they have that power. Apparently they work for The Adjustment Bureau, which is ran by “The Chairman”. He, she, or it maps out our destiny and the bureau carries out the plan.

But there are a few things the bureau didn’t count on.

First of all, David is a very determined guy. He grew up in Brooklyn and has an inner toughness that plays out in all aspects of his life.  They may not want him to be with Elise, but that means nothing to him. He’s convinced she’s the one for him, plus the fact that they don’t want them to be together motivates him even more.

Additionally, one of their own begins helping David out. Harry (Anthony Mackie) has been at this for a long time, but something has changed in him. He begins to get attached to David and is actually inspired by him. So much so, that he’s willing to risk everything to see that the two are together.

If Philip K. Dick was alive today he would be filthy rich. I’m sure he did just fine as a writer, but he has had a number of his works turned into movies; several of which reached a high level of success. Blade Runner, Total Recall (soon-to-be for the second time), Minority Report, Scanners, A Scanner Darkly, and The Adjustment Bureau are just a few of his stories that have been converted to film.

His themes tend to revolve around topics that humanity has discussed for ages. Obviously that resonates with people. I should probably check out some of his short stories some time, because not only am I intrigued by such questions, I tend to like the movies that are inspired by his works.

Diagnosis: Thumbs up.

This movie review was given the He said, She said seal of approval on July 9, 2011.