Film & TV

Film Review: The Adjustment Bureau

Rating: M

Running time: 124 minutes

Release date: 3 March 2011

Matt Damon stars as David Norris the youngest ever US congressman running for senate. When his initial election hopes are dashed after a dirty campaign he meets dancer Elise (Emily Blunt) who inspires him to make the speech of his life and possibly run again. He loses contact with her but can’t get her out of his mind. However by chance in the huge population of NYC, he bumps into Elise again which seems like fate, but is it? Are there coincidences which just aren’t really coincidences? We get introduced to the notion that there is no such thing as free will and that our fate is predetermined by higher forces and for the greater good of mankind. If you believe in that this movie is definitely for you.

This movie explores the notion of fate versus being in control of our own destiny and will appeal to fatalists. The screenplay is well written by George Nolfi who also has his directorial debut with this film. It is based on a short story by sci fi writer Phillip K. Dick called the “Adjustment Team” hence the title. Nolfi has written for Damon before with the screenplay for the Bourne Ultimatum. Damon seems to be attracting the romantic existential genre instead of rom-com it has become rom-ex especially post the recently released Hereafter which explores life after death.

The ending is predictable; it’s that typical meet the love of your life but something keeps you apart until you finally overcome the barriers against all odds, to demonstrate that true love actually does exist. This story only differs in that it is wrapped up in a sci-fi otherworld context. However the journey with the actors and how they play it out is entertaining enough to keep you engaged, as is the subject matter. It is less thriller and more romance with Emily Blunt stealing the show as she usually does in all her movies. She just lights up and commands the screen in whatever she does (The Devil wears Prada, Sunshine Cleaning) and Terence Stamp as The Hammer makes a good villain.

The cinematography really made much of the fact it was based in NYC with beautiful shots of Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, Central Park and Chrysler building.

3/5 stars

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