30 may. 2011

My Review: The Adjustment Bureau (9/10)

¨All I have are the choices I make, and I choose her, come what may.¨

Ever since Adam and Eve we`ve never liked to be told what to do, but what would happen if all our decisions were somehow manipulated by some sort of power to make us act in a certain way without us not even realizing it? In other words, we think we have free will and we believe we make our own choices, but what if someone was making small adjustments behind our backs to make sure we followed a certain path? Those are the questions The Adjustment Bureau raises in this science-fiction romantic movie. Rookie director, George Nolfi (known for writing Ocean`s Twelve and adapting the screenplay for The Bourne Ultimatum), does a great job at combining two unrelated genres such as science-fiction and romance and meshing them together to create this thought provoking film. The Adjustment Bureau is without a doubt the best romantic film I`ve seen this year (and I never expected to be saying this after watching the trailers for this movie). The film is actually based on a short story written by Phillip K. Dick (who is better known for his other short story ¨Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? ¨ which was adapted into a movie you might have heard of: Blade Runner). The movie is not perfect, but I enjoyed every second of it thanks to the great chemistry between Matt Damon and Emily Blunt. There is just something about forbidden love that makes you root for both these characters because it somehow feels wrong that outside forces can be a factor in their lives. Any normal human being would understand that these two people were meant for each other.

Matt Damon plays a young politician named David Norris, running for Senator in New York. On election night while he is preparing his defeat speech he runs into Elise Sellas (Emily Blunt) in the men`s restroom. There is a strong instant chemistry between them and they share a passionate kiss together, but are suddenly interrupted by security guards who were looking for Elise because she got caught crashing a wedding in the same building. David is so inspired by the kiss that he gives one of his best and most authentic speeches ever, but he can`t stop thinking of Elise. Everything isn’t what it seems and there are some mysterious people behind the scenes making sure everyone is following the right path. Richardson (John Slattery) and Harry (Anthony Mackie) have been following David everywhere and seem to know what decisions he is going to make and they try to manipulate them. We later find out that they work for a mysterious agency known as the Adjustment Bureau, who make adjustments in order to keep people on track so they won`t deviate from the intended plan. David and Elise are not intended to be with each other, it isn’t written on the books for them so Harry is ordered to keep him away from her so he will continue on the ¨right path.¨ Something goes wrong and the two meet again, only this time the agents have to make amends and end up telling David who they really are. David isn’t willing to go along with the plan because he believes in free will, so the agency has to bring out their big gun, Thompson (Terence Stamp), in order for the pair to break up. The question now is: can love conquer predestination?

The movie isn’t deep, but it does manage to leave you thinking quite a bit, and that is always a plus. This could be called the Inception for couples although it is a much lighter movie, but it is way better than most romantic films that have come out recently. It is original and intense. It also raises questions about free will, fate, soul mates, and predestination. We`d like to believe that all our decisions are based entirely on our free will, but even we admit that sometimes coincidences take place: for example we get on the wrong bus and run into someone we haven’t seen in a long time. The Adjustment Bureau claims these ¨accidents¨ are actually planned most of the time and they serve to keep their subjects on the right path in order to fulfill their purpose. David is willing to fight this system, like any other human would because we can`t accept the fact that our destinies are already predetermined. He discovers that love after all does conquer all things. The success of the movie doesn’t actually rely on trying to answer the question whether or not we control our destiny or if we are manipulated by outside forces, the true success of the film relies on the chemistry between Damon and Blunt. The two of them are great together, and the film worked better for me at this romantic level than it did with all the science fiction. I absolutely recommend this movie.

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