Saturday, March 5, 2011

The Adjustment Bureau Review

Watching "The Adjustment Bureau", I thought of South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford. He was the Republican who many thought would be a candidate for President. Then, he was caught in an affair. He admitted to the affair but also acknowledged that he loved the woman he was cheating with. And down went his Presidential bid. In the film, David Norris (Matt Damon) is a young and upcoming politician, running for the New York Senate. He loses the election and as he is thinking about what he is going to say to concede, he meets the free spirit Elise (Emily Blount) a contemporary ballet dancer. After doing some talking, they immediately have an attraction to each other. In fact they kiss. Unfortunately, David must go and she's on the lam for crashing a wedding.

Later, we are introduced to mysterious men, Richardson, (John Slattery) and Harry. (Anthony Mackie) We find out these guys are the Adjustment Bureau, an agency that adjust the lives of humans by directing them to make certain choices. Harry is told to make David spill coffee on himself. But he fails and David boards a bus where he meets up with Elise again. They rekindle their romance and he gets her phone number. As he goes back to the office of the company he's working for, he stumbles upon the Bureau's attempt to correct Harry's mistake and the ripples that it has caused. The humans are frozen in time while the Bureau works on them. The Bureau captures David and he is told to forget Elise. They burn the card which has her phone number.

David searches for Elise for the next three years. In the meantime, his political career is beginning to show promise and he is now running for the Senate gain. While riding the bus, he spots Elise. He bolts from the bus. They again rekindle their romance. Richardson tries to stop the romance but fails. Soon another Bureau man, Thompson (Terrance Stamp) takes over. He tells David that the romance is not in the plan made by "The Chairman." If he continues to romance Elise, he will not become President and Elise's dancing career will end. See, that's why I'm reminded of Governor Mark Sanford. The rest of the film is about the choices he will make.

Director and writer George Nolfi has taken the short story "The Adjustment Team" by Phillip K. Dick, and turned it into a metaphysical sci-fi romance. His dialogue feels real and his direction is graceful. He doesn't force the action but lets it happen organically. it's this skill that he guides the leads Damon and Blunt to a believable romance.

As for the two leads, there's instant attraction between the two. It's been some time since I've seen that type of chemistry on screen. Emily Blunt is absolutely charming. Matt Damon is a man who is haunted by his love for a woman. What seems like love at first sight, really works here. And yes, I do believe in love at first sight.

The Adjustment Bureau is an original, intelligent and beautiful sci-fi romance. You believe that Damon and Blunt do love other. The grade is A-.

1 comment:

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