The Adjustment Bureau

The Adjustment Bureau is a movie that is loosely based on the novel Adjustment Team by Philip K. Dick. Some other films based on his writings are Blade Runner, Total Recall, and Minority Report. Dick liked to explore the relationships between free will and predestination and wrote very imaginative stories to conceptualize these themes.

Do we control our own fates? Sometimes it seems that way and sometimes not. And if we don’t who does and to what degree? The Adjustment Bureau shows a world in which a hierarchical group of men led by the mysterious Chairman see to it that things go according to plan.

David Norris is a rising politician running for Senate.  An early loss devastates him until meeting Elise, a ballet dancer, in the men’s bathroom while rehearsing his concession speech. Their encounter inspires him to give his greatest speech ever and puts his career back on track. However, when David’s personal adjustment bureau guy falls asleep on the job they meet again, this time on a bus.  This was not supposed to happen and the Bureau is in a tizzy. David and Elise find themselves drawn to each other and David especially feels like they are meant to be together.  

Later at his office David walks in his friend and campaign manager’s office and finds him frozen in place surrounded by men in suits examining and shining something into his head. David is chased, caught, and sent to a warehouse where he is told to forget about Elise, they are not supposed to be together in the plan. Furthermore if he tells anyone about them, he will be reset, or lobotomized.

The Adjustment Bureau is about what happens when two people want to change their stars. There are reasons things must go a certain way. And just as certainly, why they must not. Roger Ebert says this was a good movie that could have been a great one if more risks had been taken. I wanted more about the secondary theme concerning choices between personal happiness and the greater good. Which is more important?

We both enjoyed the jumping in and out-of-doors and those super cool plan-books. The scenes between Damon and Blunt are quite charming, definitely a cut above the usual Hollywood falling-in-love drivel.  The film wasn’t the best adaptation of a Dick story but very entertaining nonetheless. We are considering getting yet another anthology.


One Response

  1. I read an article in Women’s Health on how Emily Blunt trained to become a ballet dancer in six weeks. Loved it. She has great screen chemistry with Matt Damon. I am so looking forward to watching this.

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