“The Adjustment Bureau” portrays an explanation of two noteworthy concepts, freedom and fate, giving viewers a lot to think about concerning their perception of reality.
A group of secret agents, resembling the CIA is introduced in the beginning of the movie. Dressed in trench coats and fedoras, they walk the streets of New York with an unusual job; they are the Adjustment Bureau, in charge of planning people’s lives with little consideration to their emotions.
The Adjustment Bureau’s line of work resembles that which conspiracy theorists have expressed they believe has existed before. They are unseen forces in society, having powers that everyday people cannot perceive to be real yet we are all controlled by them.
At times the scenes of this film such as people being frozen in time while being “scanned” and “rebooted” seemed inconceivable, and frankly, may have killed the potential sophistication of the film, but nonetheless, the idea they were trying to evoke in viewers was understood.
We watch the bureau at work while watching the story of David Norris, played by Matt Damon.
From David’s tough childhood, to his current life as a popular politician, the Adjustment Bureau has planned his life with great detail without his knowledge.
David is a young New York congressman, whose image is suddenly tainted after his past partying days are exposed to the public, but thanks to unforeseen company in the men’s restroom, his efforts to become a public figure are saved.
His unexpected bathroom buddy is a stunning female wedding crasher hiding from police who are searching for her.
This spontaneous meeting between the two, though in reality planned by the bureau, proves magnetic as they kiss once and she runs away, seemingly leaving his life forever.
Not only does her personality make him fall in love with her, but she inspires an authenticity in him. This shines through his career, making him a popular politician once more.
Months later, David catches a bus to take him to work to find his mystery girl on board.
Besides exchanging flirty remarks, the two exchange names and numbers. The mystery woman’s name is Elise, played by Emily Blunt.
What these two don’t know is that this reunion was never supposed to be, according to the bureau.
Elise is simply not in David’s plans and may in fact ruin him professionally.
As a mistake, David catches the bureau at work and they are now forced to bring the “truth” of life to David’s attention.
Throughout the movie, David pushes the boundaries of the bureau and fights destiny itself to be with Elise.
The film highlights the question of true freedom and who has it.
They make it a point to say that self-will in a world of power is not given to just anyone, it must be earned and courageously fought for.
We believe that because we can choose the car we drive, the foods we eat, and the clothes we wear that we have infinite freedom, but freedom goes beyond these petty choices.
Bigger decisions in life can be put in our own hands if we fight for the freedom to make these choices. Otherwise, we must go with the flow of someone else’s plans.
The film pushes viewers to see that fate doesn’t have to be at the mercy of others and personal freedom is the most powerful tool that the masses have never unleashed within themselves.