Friday, March 11, 2011
THE ADJUSTMENT BUREAU
THE ADJUSTMENT BUREAU (2011)
Directed by George Nolfi
Matt Damon - David Norris
Emily Blunt - Elise Sallas
Anthony Mackie - Harry Mitchell
A smooth-talking congressman future is thrown in doubt by uncontrollable events and the arrival of a mysterious woman in his life whom he was only supposed to meet once.
Hollywood has a love/hate relationship with Philip K. Dick. They love the story ideas and premise that he offers in his stories. Yet, they hate that most of the time his films under-perform. His stories always have a undercurrent that goes through every story that he tries to get across. While most of his works deal with a matter of perception, that there is more there than can be seen, it's the undercurrent of all these stories that peaks through. Films based on his writings almost always have this undercurrent hidden within from Blade Runner to Impostor.
The undercurrent I'm talking about is what is it to be human. To make mistakes. To love. To feel. This is an important question in The Adjustment Bureau as Matt Damon's David Norris is completely human in the movie as he makes mistake after mistake. Yet, he is always giving a second chance by choice, the other theme in this movie and the true one at the end, and the choices he makes after each chance. For someone that is so sure about being with someone, he gives up way to easily on her after giving a choice. Yet after each time he knows he messed up and yearns for the chance to correct the mistakes he made. Most movies I've seen Damon in he's always seemed a little detached, somewhat unlikable. Not so in this movie, which is a blessing as to me as he's playing his most human role, flawed and fallible.
While the trailer makes it seem like Terence Stamp is a villain in this movie, he isn't, or that there's some major evil invasion going on as this also couldn't be further from the truth. The Adjustment Bureau of the movie is truly left up to the viewer to decide what they are. Even though enough hints are giving to point it toward that they are angels without saying they are. It's explained to a certain point they're supposed to keep people on a set path after what humanity has done to itself in the past 100 years, it's cold logic in a way, as this is clarified by Stamp's character, despite this I still don't like the effect it brings up that we have no free will. This alludes to the true antagonist in the film. Predetermined Fate. Can we actually break from a path set for us, to fight what we believe to be right no matter what. Thankfully the movie shows that even they, the Bureau aren't without flaw as they do not have complete free will and have problems improvising which makes you question what they do and why.
Anyone going into the film expecting the movie to be full of action will be terribly disappointed as this is not that type of movie. Instead the movie makes you think. It has an imagination that works on the viewer and makes them question reality and how much of a choice their lives have had so far. Also anyone going into this film who thinks everything will be explained will be upset as you do, as I mentioned before, have to think. If there was one thing I didn't like in this movie it would be that the end seemed to easy and viewer friendly, to relaxed and moderate. Despite this one flaw, I was captivated by this film and the questions it asked, as well as the superb acting. This is one love story I truly got into and can easily suggest to everyone that can think for themselves.
None. This isn't that type of movie.
We're more like case officers.
The Adjustment Bureau is the 10th Phillip K Dick story to be made into a theatrical film.
The visual plan for the film was to keep the camerawork smooth using a dolly or crane and have controlled formal shots when the Adjustment Bureau was in full control, with things becoming more loose and using hand held cameras when the story becomes less controlled.
The short story the movie was based on was called Adjustment Team.