Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Adjustment Bureau, an intriguing and complex film

The Adjustment Bureau, B

The Adjustment Bureau marks the directorial debut of George Nolfi, screenwriter of Ocean's 12 and The Bourne Ultimatum. It's as complicated as his last two, but more focused on its message.

The film overall seems to be encouraging the viewer to deviate from the path set out for them (which directly refers to religion, as everyone in the film is controlled by "the book" which certainly is a symbol for the bible). I love the idea and the message, but, as much as I want to, I just don't buy it. I found the film too filled with ideas, and plot complications. I don't buy into some of the decisions of the characters (which applies equally to the actors and Nolfi).

SPOILER!!!!!!!!!!! Don't go on!

The biggest flaw is the ending. How could a movie that prides itself on deviation fall safely into an ending that's the oldest in the book. They're destined for one another? It's the cinderella ending we've all seen since childhood. I'd like to see Anthony Mackie's character deviate and find a life he can love. Perhaps I'm not giving Nolfi enough credit and he's the true hero. He's the one who did what felt right which rings much more true in my heart than a couple that was meant to be. As I write this I'm switching my rating from a B- to a B on the basis that Mackie is the real hero. I thought Nolfi's point was to show how the success of the couple inspired God (the chairman). Now I'm realizing the most important part of the story is when Anthony Mackie gives Damon his fedora (LOL). When we are brave enough to alter our plan, we inspire others. The film discusses the negative ripple effect our deviations have, but it subtly shows the positive ripples. Damon's perseverance inspired Anthony Mackie to do what he thought and more importantly felt was right.

Is The Adjustment Bureau over ambitious? Yes.
Is it entertaining? Yes.
Is it worth thinking about? I'd say so.

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