Monday, 19 May 2014

film review: The Adjustment Bureau (2011)

On the run from the Men in Hats


David Norris [Matt Damon], a young ambitious politician, has just lost an election to the US Senate. But a chance meeting with the mysterious Elise [Emily Blunt] inspires him to a great concession speech, and a future in politics. A few years later, he meets her by chance again, and it looks like an Affair to Remember. But that second meeting is contrary to the Plan, it should never have happened, and so the Adjustment Bureau is sent in to put things right. David, however, is not so easily discouraged.

This is typical Dick paranoia, with a shadowy, all-powerful agency directing everyone’s lives, by consulting the unfolding Plan as composed by the Chairman to keep the humans from annihilating themselves.

This Plan has David becoming President eventually, with Elise becoming a world-famous choreographer, futures that apparently neither will achieve if they are with each other, so the Bureau must keep them apart.

This is slickly made, and an enjoyable ride, as we try to figure out what is going on, why everyone is wearing a hat, and how David can beat the good guys determined to make him President, if not happy. (Not all that good guys, though: they killed off his family to make him focus on his career!) In the end, True Love wins the day, and the leads’ free will is restored to them, their future Plan unwritten.

However, we never find out if the happy couple then live out their lives in humdrum bliss, or do manage also to have their pre-planned careers. So the moral of the tale isn’t clear. Is it: True Love conquers all, or is it, Better to Have Love than a Fulfilling Career? If it’s the latter, then it’s good to see the symmetry of both sacrificing their glorious careers (okay, maybe not so symmetrical: it’s actually David sacrificing both their careers).

But why oh why is the Adjustment Bureau all men?

For all my film reviews, see my main website.

1 comment:

  1. I was really was expecting more out of this film. I couldn't stand how easy it was for them to end up together

    ReplyDelete