Screenwriter George Nolfi (The Sentinel, Timeline) made his directorial debut with The Adjustment Bureau, an intelligently and romantically enhanced adaptation of a short story, written by the renown science-fiction author, Philip K. Dick. This phenomenal sci-fi themed film, with modest special effects, is philosophical as apposed to futuristic; think Inception meets The Matrix, but decelerated.
The Adjustment Bureau challenges the authenticity of reality, the randomness of destiny, and entitlement to free will. However, the caveat here is not simply that these perceptions are illusions, especially created for humankind, but experiments designed to appraise individual merit.
Matt Damon and Emily Blunt are excellent as the film’s stars, but it’s the story that truly radiates on screen.
The Film Summary of The Adjustment Bureau
Young and charismatic New York politician David Norris (Matt Damon) sees his campaign for U.S. Senate killed after a youthful prank from his past is scandalized in the NY Post. Preparing to address his waiting crowd of supporters with a concession speech, David steals away to be alone in the hotels’ restroom.
There, he meets a beautiful, contemporary ballet dancer Elise (Emily Blunt), who’s been hiding, in the mens’ room, from the hotel’s security, after impulsively crashing a wedding. An undeniable spark ignites between them, despite being surrounded by sinks and toilets. This chance meeting has a powerful effect on David, who, after a brief kiss, gets separated from this impetuous, young woman without even finding out her name.
But, just as he realizes he’s falling madly in love with her, strangers –agents from The Adjustment Bureau – conspire to keep the two apart. Likened to bureaucratic angels, the case workers possess the ability to manipulate events, in order to control the fate of humans.
These agents of Fate keep ahead of unpredictable free will by wearing hats that empower them to jump through time and distance by opening specific doors, which act like portals. Once they intercept the deviation from their playbook, they construct the necessary re-adjustment.
Emboldened by love, David challenges his predetermined fate. His sympathetic case officer, Harry (Anthony Mackie), is moved to help David and Elise preserve their original mapped-out plan, in which are meant to share a life together. However, special agents (John Slattery and Terence Stamp) are commissioned by The Chairman to sustain their inexplicably altered destinies.
The Cast and Crew of The Adjustment Bureau
Stars Matt Damon, Emily Blunt, Anthony Mackie, John Slattery and Terence Stamp; with cameo appearances by Jon Stewart and Michael Bloomberg as themselves.
Directed by George Nolfi. Screenplay written by George Nolfi, adapted from the short story, Adjustment Team, by Philip K. Dick. Cinematography by John Toll. Edited by Jay Rabinowitz.
Produced by Bill Carraro, Michael Hackett, Chris Moore and George Nolfi. Executive producers are Isa Dick Hackett and Jonathon Gordon. US theatrical distribution by Universal Pictures.
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