The Adjustment Bureau

April 13, 2011 at 8:35 am | Posted in Dance Review, Film Review | Leave a comment
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I went to see The Adjustment Bureau the other day, being not sure what to expect, but intrigued by the idea of the an exploration of pre-destiny.

So Matt Damon plays David Norris – a man seemingly set on the road to be the President of the United States – if only he could control his impulses and win a term as a Senator. Then into his life come Elise Sellas, played by Emily Blunt, and he feels fulfilled and wishes to spend the rest of his life with her. But, ‘The Plan’ says that they do not spend their lives together: he becomes senator and eventually President; she becomes the contemporary ballet dancer of her generation and eventuallys the choreographer of the age.

So begins a series of attempts – by the shadowy Adjustment Bureau – to keep them apart. But eventually they end up together.

Terrance Stamp, John Slattery, and Anthony Mackie are members of the bureau who try to keep things to ‘The Plan’. Stamp is the trouble shooter brought in to ‘fix’ things, when Mackie and Slattery are unable to keep things ‘on track’.

Mackie is disallusioned – hints throughout the film that he killed Norris’s father and brother – and ends up helping Norris. This was a concept that was explored: if you ‘believe’ what won’t you do? It is Mackie’s character who helps Norris.

The Adjustment Bureau seems to be a thinly disguised body of angels. And ultimately the film lets the viewer down: there is no confrontation with the ‘Planner’ – no confrontation with God. There is a message from the ‘one who writes the plan’ saying that ‘The Plan’ has been amended to let Norris and Elise stay together. What niggles, is that they were suppose to stay together in all previous iterations of ‘The Plan’: the film sidesteps the ‘infailability of the planner’ corundum. The closing final message is a statement about free-will.

The special effects are very good, and everyone puts in a good performance. There is even some chemistry between Damon and Blunt. I felt Blunt was perfectly cast as Elise; even her dance sequences seemed ‘real’.


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