March 4, 2011 was the release of George Nolfi’s latest film, “The Adjustment Bureau.” “Bureau” is loosely based on a short story called “The Adjustment Team” by Phillip Dick. This Twilight Zone-esque story was published in Orbit Science Fiction in 1954. In order to turn it into a feature film, certain adjustments were made to make this possible.
This film embodies the timeless theme of fate vs. free will by following the fictitious politician David Norris. Norris (portrayed by Matt Damon) is moments away from making a speech after losing an election, when he meets the beautiful dancer Elise Sellas (Emily Blunt). Even though they had just met, Norris believes he is in love with her, but their encounter was not “according to plan.”
This “plan” is the course of Norris’s life, and by meeting Elise, everything that can happen in the future will change from just that event. An elusive group of men kidnap Norris, and explain to him that his career will take him where he wants it to (and then some) if he never sees Elise again. These men, Adjusters, warn that if Norris makes any detrimental decisions or exposes the adjusters, he will be “reset” via lobotomy. Failure to keep them apart was Harry Mitchell’s responsibility (Anthony Mackie), Norris’s specified adjuster. Such an experience shocks Norris, but by happenstance, he runs into Elise again three years later. No matter what the Adjustment Bureau says or tries to do, Norris will not stay away from Elise.
Free will vs. fate is clearly depicted in this remarkable film. David Norris must make the ultimate decision; having a successful career or pursuing a relationship with Sellas.
Matt Damon’s performance as the up-and-upcoming politician David Norris is outstanding. In the past, he has been nominated for various awards in the film industry, and he doesn’t disappoint in the “Adjustment Bureau.” His onscreen chemistry with Emily Blunt is very believable. They worked so well together, and it truly paid off in this film. Mackie deserves much praise for his supporting role of Norris’ adjuster; his part in the film was very critical.
This film’s representation of free will vs. fate will make people wonder why everything happens for a reason, and why one event can possibly change the course of a lifetime. I recommend this film to all; the Twilight Zone-esque elements of it keep the movie going. All the twists and turns will keep you on the edge of your seat begging for more.