Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Adjustment Bureau

Do we control our destiny, or do unseen forces manipulate us? Matt Damon stars in the thriller The Adjustment Bureau as a man who glimpses the future Fate has planned for him and realizes he wants something else. To get it, he must pursue the only woman he's ever loved across, under and through the streets of modern-day New York. On the brink of winning a seat in the U.S. Senate, ambitious politician David Norris (Damon) meets beautiful contemporary ballet dancer Elise Sellas (Emily Blunt)-a woman like none he's ever known. But just as he realizes he's falling for her, mysterious men conspire to keep the two apart. David learns he is up against the agents of Fate itself-the men of The Adjustment Bureau-who will do everything in their considerable power to prevent David and Elise from being together. In the face of overwhelming odds, he must either let her go and accept a predetermined path...or risk everything to defy Fate and be with her.

Director...............................George Nolfi
Matt Damon........................David Norris
Emily Blunt.........................Elise Sellas
John Slattery.......................Richardson
Anthony Mackie.................Henry Mitchell
Michael Kelly......................Charlie Traynor

    I enjoy going to the movies, so when my friends invite me, I don’t usually bother to check what we are going to see. This has led me astray a few times, but I’m not a difficult customer – and I have reasonable friends – so mostly, I can’t complain. My last experience was with The Adjustment Bureau, a delightful little gem. They translated the title here in France as L’Agence, so, when I was told we were going to see a film called The Agency I was more or less certain I would be enjoying two hours of secret agents, foreign operatives, and everything else you can expect from a spy thriller. I could not possibly have been more wrong!

    The Adjustment Bureau is adapted from a short story by Philip K. Dick, published in 1954 as The Adjustment Team. It's not the first movie to have originated from the mind of this author – Blade Runner and Minority Report are only two of the most well known. In this instance, the story was transformed into a modern day dark comedy that touches upon such hefty subjects as fate, free will, and the active presence of a divine force interfering in the day to day running of our lives.

    The film centers on the life of David Norris, an up and coming politician, who is obviously meant for more than the seat in the Senate he is going for – young, a self-made man from a difficult background, confident but also conflicted by what his role is supposed to be - he is everything a voter could hope for in a candidate. Enter Elise, wild, free, a contemporary Ballet dancer. It’s love at first sight. Except, that love is apparently not part of The Plan. So, exit the happily ever after and enter The Adjustment Team, to correct all deviations and put History back on track.

    I appreciated the light feel of the film – it could easily have become maudlin or overly emotional – the hero’s fight against an unforgiving destiny is a dramatic ploy we see often enough. But here there is laughter, and there is style – I simply adored the jaunty little hats on all the operatives of the Bureau. The fantastic elements are also incredibly appropriate – note, the doors. How I love the endless possibilities of analysis and interpretations that little piece of imagery allows – and very well integrated to the reality of the movie.

    I am not saying this is a very serious movie – I don’t think that is the purpose at all. But it is believable. It is interesting. It is funny and thrilling. What more can you wish for when you sit down to the dark delights of the cinema?


    1. I agree with you dear...but it's maybe because we were in theatre together.

      I've loved the way of passing through doors to doors with the hat thing! So fun, why can't we do that in Paris? More practical than the underground don't you think?

      I'd love to read the novel (short story?) of Philip K. Dick. I don't know it was him who wrote Blade Runner and Minority report but now I can understand why it's good then!

      love you dear


    2. It is a short story - the title is The Adjustment Team, instead of Bureau. And I agree - we should all get a Hat and sail through doors like that - it would make life infinitely more interesting!



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