On any given day, everyone makes hundreds of thousands of choices. They can be as simple as what to eat for breakfast or what shoes match with an outfit, but sometimes a choice is much more complex than picking out a pair of shoes.
“The Adjustment Bureau” is a movie that examines that very choice process, based on Phillip K. Dick’s short story “Adjustment Team.”
“The Adjustment Bureau” demonstrates the power of choice and its relation to destiny. It raises questions about a higher power and makes us reconsider the actual power we really have over life decisions. What extremes would you take to alter your fate? Is it worth it to try? Or would you risk everything to be with the one you loved?
Over the course of the film, viewers are challenged and forced to consider the circumstances of the protagonist, politician David Morris (Matt Damon), and ultimately determine what decisions we would make if we were in the same predicament.
In the movie, agents, known as the Adjustment Bureau, work secretly unbeknownst to humans and create life plans for each human. It’s their job to ensure each person follows the certain life plan created for them. In the case of David, his life path is changed suddenly when he meets the woman of his dreams, Elise Sellas (Emily Blunt), by chance.
The Bureau takes David to explain their purpose as agents. They help correct mistakes in an individual’s life plans when things go wrong off the map. They also tell David he cannot see Elise again and if he seeks her out, he’ll face harsh consequences.
From there, the Bureau works vigorously to try to prevent a meeting between the lovers, placing barriers to stop another encounter.
For years David doesn’t see Elise, until finally they meet for a third time by sheer chance. David refuses to let the Bureau keep him from the woman he feels he is destined to be with and attempts to outsmart the agents.
“The Adjustment Bureau” is a well-written, good movie, representative of how chance and choice can alter an individual’s life plan for better or worse. It brings up a religious, higher being conversation about free will and the idea of a supreme architect creating a single purpose for each of us.
Our free will does, however, come with consequences, and this movie presents that struggle in a truly entertaining way.