Sunday, November 26, 2017

The Adjustment Bureau

The Adjustment Bureau; science-fiction drama, USA, 2011; D: George Nolfi, S: Matt Damon, Emily Blunt, Anthony Mackie, John Slattery, Michael Kelly, Terence Stramp

New York. Congressman David Norris accidentally meets a mysterious woman, Elise, who kisses him, but suddenly runs away. Inspired by this, he dumps his in advance prepared speech and instead delivers an honest one in front of the audience, which makes him a star overnight. Some time later, David meets Elise again in a bus and gets her phone number, but mysterious people kidnap him and warn him not to see her again, because they are the "Adjustment Bureau", an organization that runs the grand scheme of the destiny of the world for humans, dictated by the Chairman, and threaten David to erase his brain if he tells anyone about them. Thee years later, David accidentally meets Elise again and they start a relationship. Harry, one of the "men with hats", helps David run away with her, even though the plan envisaged for them to never meet again. David persists, and after a chase, the men with hats allow him to be with Elise.

More than anything, science-fiction drama "The Adjustment Bureau" is an allegory on the trials and tribulations of ordinary people who have to overcome all odds against the "invisible fingers" of destiny to achieve their goal, and as such it should be treated more symbolically than realistically, which somewhat vindicates the lack of explanation or details of the mysterious "men with hats", some sort of modern day Moirai, who tailor the lives of humanity irrespective of their wishes. The schemes of the men with hats, who use various "accidents" to prevent David from seeing Elise (among others, a power outage, which prevents him from phoning her; or a car crash that conveniently slows him down) are a little bit too similar to the ones used by TV producers who wanted to stop Truman from leaving the city in "The Truman Show", which makes this a little bit standard, whereas the dialogues were rather bland, ordinary and routine. For such a high concept, not all of the rich possibilities were exploited to the fullest. Still, the two main actors, Matt Damon and Emily Blunt, have charm while interacting, whereas the movie carries a sympathetic and sweet little message across, a one about how friendship, loyalty, love and determination can sometimes be stronger than fatalism and bleak doom.


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