Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Adjustment Bureau (2011)

Theatrical Poster
Source: IMP Awards
This film is not in the Empire 500.

I decided that this weekend I would take my girlfriend to the cinema. We had a vast array of films to choose from, but in the end we settled on The Adjustment Bureau. We had sat down and read Empire, studied IMDB and watched trailers online and based our choice on those. This, of course, was our choice.... wasn't it?

If you believe The Adjustment Bureau, you'd think not.

David Norris (Matt Damon) is running for political office and he has just been involved in a scandal that knocked him down from a position that it didn't seem possible to lose from. As her prepares to give his losing speech, he bumps into Elise Sellas (Emily Blunt) - a ballerina. David is immediately taken aback by the way they click before she is forced to flee from security, and this chance meeting inspires him to a rousing closing speech.

They meet again on the bus as David goes to work. This meeting should never had occurred. Fate has conspired against them and mysterious men are forced to try and keep them apart. As David delves deeper into the lives of the mysterious men - The Adjustment Bureau - he tries to adjust the overwhelming odds and change the fate of his life forever.

Damon's casting for this at first seemed a little strange. In the past he hasn't really touched on a romanic role - in the Bourne trilogy he shows that he is acting at his best as a cold, emotionless person. That said, he conveys the emotion of David superbly. Alongside Blunt, the chemistry is clearly seen between them.

The big positive point of this film was the mystery of it all. There are chase scenes where you have no idea who will win - but you keep willing Damon on despite the lack of odds in his favour. Some of the audience around me were chuckling as Damon once more thwarted his chasers.

The Adjustment Bureau themselves are intriguing. They are introduced early on - in a similar fashion to The Matrix agents, and they becomes instantly recognisable. Another parallel can be drawn by the way that anyone in the world meeting a certain criteria could be part of the Bureau. The audience's emotional link to the Bureau is cleverly tapped into as one of them starts to become emotionally involved and starts to help David.

One disappointment for me was the ending. While it was perfectly adequate, it did feel like a bit of a cop-out after the previous hour and a half. This is the sole reason for the drop in mark.

There will of course be similarities be drawn been this film and Inception in that the way can be manipulated, but I think that this film deserves the rating in its own right.

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