‘Adjustment Bureau’ blends romance, science fiction

“The Adjustment Bureau,” starring Matt Damon and Emily Blunt,  effectively combines romance and science fiction in a storytelling process that grips the audience the whole way through.

Damon is obviously a well-known actor with a tremendous amount of respect in the film industry, but many people might be unfamiliar with Blunt. For those who don’t remember, Blunt played Emily Charlton in “The Devil Wears Prada” in which she stole the spotlight in a several scenes with her performance of Charlton’s witty and pretentious personality.

Her role in that movie was rather limited, but “The Adjustment Bureau” is the first breakout performance of Blunt’s career. Director, producer and writer George Nolfi utilizes Blunt’s acting talents perfectly in this film.

Blunt has been in a few films since her acting debut, but none like this. She has truly found her calling in the romance genre, and Nolfi’s latest film is a great example why.

Damon plays David Norris, a young and successful congressman running for U.S. senator in New York. After losing a close battle to his opponent, Norris goes into a restroom to hide his devastation until he runs into a woman, played by Blunt, who just so happens to be hiding in a stall in the men’s restroom.

The two talk, and Blunt consoles Norris about having just lost. Miraculously, love at first sight exemplifies itself in this scene as the two immediately kiss after only five minutes of talking.

Norris later meets up with the same woman, whose name is revealed to be Elise, on a downtown bus in New York City and he gets her phone number. It turns out he was never supposed to be see Elise again because he was supposed to spill his coffee while walking through a park to the bus stop.

The problem was that one of the Adjustment Bureau’s fate-policing employees, Harry Mitchell (Anthony Mackie), was supposed to make sure that Norris spilled coffee while on his way to work so that he would go back and change. Doing so would have gone according to fate’s plan, but Mitchell fell asleep on the job.

As he goes into work that morning, he is kidnapped by the Adjustment Bureau and wakes up in a strange place. The Bureau orders Norris to not see Elise again because doing so would mess with fate’s plan. Norris, who is in love with Elise, refuses to do so and the Bureau is caught up in a predicament to make sure that fate goes according to plan instead of free will.

When I first saw the trailer, I thought it was an interesting story idea but questioned whether it would be one of those films that gets so caught up in the fantasy that it fails to address the important themes. But this film proved me wrong, as I was surprised to see that the story had a deeper meaning than the ordinary science fiction plot.

Nolfi emphasizes the free will theme over plot, which is always something I respect from a director’s approach to a film.

The romantic elements of the film are a little bit orthodox, but they are well-acted, mostly to Blunt’s credit. It wasn’t Damon’s best performance, but he did seem to have good  chemistry with Blunt.

Both chick flick and science fiction moviegoers alike will enjoy this film.


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