William Shakespeare, a bard for all millenniums , wrote in “A Midsummer’s Night Dream” that “the course of true love, never did run smooth”. In “The Adjustment Bureau” Matt Damon as “David Norris” and Emily Blount as “Elise Sellas” prove worth the ripples or emotional rapids. It is a perfect pairing and a surprisingly entertaining film, especially for those capable of suspending believe and plunging head first into the fantasy. Escapism, why movies are an elixir from the banal.
Problematic equations dominate: is there a preordained cosmic force that determines our choices. Is free will a myth? A delusion fostered by the bureau, that from birth all our decisions, actions are destined, scripted and dictated by “the boss” of the adjustment bureau. The sycophants, apostles, knights of the Bureau wear not the proverbial “white” hats but “black” hats, that instead of demonic wizardly, dispense wisdom, a formula, they deem fit for mankind; their commandments sacrosanct, inviolate.
The film is refreshingly devoid of the ubiquitous digitization we have grown to expect, where technology wields its alchemy; aliens, men and animals switching roles; supermen and women scaling buildings, arresting forces of nature, the “Inceptions” changing the perceptions of the viewer; disguise the master of deception. Hopefully, movie audiences will weary of watching the known world melting, exploding, imploding leaving prototypes of what the twenty-second century is serving up; “big brother” on steroids.
“ The Adjustment Bureau” succeeds in presenting a scenario that does not pit evil against good; but decrees, set by the Bureau for the health and sanity of society; mankind needs the dictates, guidance of the Bureau, cannot be trusted to function, individuals cannot intuit unaided. Notwithstanding, rules become archaic; the Constitution as insightful and as clairvoyant when created has to be amended, adapting to the challenges of contemporary times.
Superior casting: Anthony Mackie as “Harry”, is the conscience of the bureau, he sees the fissures in the commandments; John Slattery as “Richardson”, recognizes that David and Elise, fracture the mold, resulting in major vicissitudes; Terence Stamp, elegant as “Thompson”, the trouble- shooter, ultimate enforcer; but it is Damon and Blunt, gifted actors who with ease and grace imbue the film with stratospheric chemistry, ravishing radiance, magnetic craving for togetherness, completion; it is their mantra and belief that “love conquers all” which earns this film………