Written by Reem Saleh, New Media, DFI
Film: The Adjustment Bureau
David Norris (Matt Damon) is a young diplomat on the verge of winning a seat in US Senate. After a scandal that threatens his chances, he meets mysterious young ballerina Elise Sellas (Emily Blunt) when she overhears him giving himself a pep talk in the men’s bathroom just before a major speech. After giving him advice that inspires him to go off script and be original and genuine, she becomes his obsession, and he struggles to find her against the will of ‘The Adjustment Bureau’, an entity that appears to have another plan for them both.
The trailer seems confusing, and makes you wonder: is it another Bourne series? It has the flavor of a conspiracy theory but from a different source: ‘The Adjustment Bureau’, agents of fate that makes sure events are happening according to plan. But whose plan? And on what basis? These are questions that you ask yourself throughout the film. While run by ‘Caseworkers’, also referred to as ‘Angels’, ‘The Adjustment Bureau’ is actually headed by ‘The Chairman’, who shapes our lives according to his plan. This film asks the age old question of whether we are driven solely by fate and destiny, or by our own actions.
The ‘fate or free will’ theme is so central to this film, it even became the center piece of the film’s media campaign, with the website leading you to two major social debates. The first, which also links you to their Facebook page, asks: “What has shaped your life? Do you think it was fate or free will? Tell us, and the rest of the world will get to vote and tell you whether they agree”. The second, referred to as the ‘life adjustment project’, creates a timeline showcasing various pictures submitted by fans, where ‘The Adjustment Bureau’ team is added to what seems to be life changing moments. You can also make your own video and share it with friends and family.
The film is a modern romantic comedy without flowers and singing in the rain, where romance lies in the battle against destiny itself and supernatural events add suspense to unusual situations. Matt Damon has added a very genuine flair to the role, making it more realistic and approachable. Overall it’s an enjoyable watch for men who like action scenes – they’re peppered throughout the film – and romantic comedy lovers alike.