The Adjustment Bureau is a film about a group of men who essentially watch over the lives of everyone in the world. The Bureau decides to take a special interest in New York senatorial candidate David Norris because in his future he does something important. On the night of the loss of his senate bid, he meets a woman named Elise played by Emily Blunt. She helps him to make the speech that will eventually lead him to greatness. David ends up interacting with Elise again but when he eventually obtains her number The Adjustment Bureau interferes and tells him he is not supposed to be with her and that she is not part of his plan. David spends periods of his life after that conversation trying to find her and fight the fate The Adjustment Bureau said he is destined to fulfill.
The Adjustment Bureau is a sci-fi romance film that asks us to challenge our own fate and believe in true love. Matt Damon plays David Norris as a man plagued by tragedy that rose up to become something greater than the catastrophic hand he was dealt during his childhood. Matt Damon has a confidence in this film that I have not seen from him since The Bourne Ultimatum. Emily Blunt brings tongue in cheek flirtatious humor to the role of Elise but there is also a sincerity to her that makes me believe that she really loves David Norris. The romance between the main characters of Elise and David feels real because the personalities of these people are so fleshed out and relatable. George Nolfi, the writer and director of this film really took his time making a believable love story and because he did this, the science fiction element involving The Adjustment Bureau feels natural, needed, and necessary to the film’s success.
This film is not without some minor problems though. I feel like we don’t get a satisfactory answer to the question of why is the Adjustment Bureau doing this? Why do they absolutely need to control the fate of David Norris? I feel as though the film should have taken a beat or two and taken some time to answer those questions. I like movies that ask me to think and feel but in addition to that this film asks me to reason. I originally thought this film wasn’t going to be much more than an escapist thriller but it proved otherwise. In other words, fate smiled kindly on the Adjustment Bureau.