Movie Recommendation: “The Adjustment Bureau” And The Price Of Free Will


Every day we make countless different choices: it might be which bus to take or which type of toothpaste to buy. Yet, however small, every choice is capable of creating endless ripples that touch people’s lives. At least, in the world of The Adjustment Bureau. Written and directed by George Nolfi, and based on a short story Adjustment Team by Philip K. Dick, The Adjustment Bureau (released in March of 2011) explores the consequences of everyday choices and the price of free will.

David Norris (Matt Damon), a politician running a campaign for US Senate, meets Elise (Emily Blunt), who is hiding in a hotel bathroom while David is trying to practice his speech. They bond instantly, and inspired, David later delivers a great unscripted speech. Some time later David and Elise meet again by chance on a bus. Though they seem to belong together, higher forces are at work to keep them apart at all costs, since their meetings are deviations from a pre-written “plan” of their lives. These forces call themselves Adjustment Bureau and specialize in adjusting people’s fates.

When a movie relies almost completely on the two lead actors, chemistry is crucial, otherwise, there is no movie. Matt Damon and Emily Blunt managed to create something truly special with their on-screen relationship, and it made the whole movie. Their instant connection is effortless and believable, and they’ll make you want to root for them till the very end of the movie. Anthony Mackie, John Slattery and Terence Stamp all present very different characters as members of the Adjustment Bureau and form a strong supporting cast.

The colors of The Adjustment Bureau are mostly cool, with New York City supplying a great backdrop and an almost menacing atmosphere, especially in the rain. To complete the picture, the members of the Adjustment Bureau have a look that somewhat resembles detectives from the 50s movies.

There is a very interesting thought expressed at one point in the movie: that humanity is still too immature to make important choices, that people won’t know how to use free will until they fight for it. Yet David is determined to defy the Adjustment Bureau every turn of the way to stay with Elise. Can he succeed?


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