Betsy Speicher

The Adjustment Bureau (2011)

Rate this movie   4 votes

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  2. 2. Sense of Life or Personal Value

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4 posts in this topic

Warning: There are spoilers about this movie in this post.

I really liked the focus on free will vs. determinism, and that free will won! I enjoyed the acting and the drama.

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First-time(!) director George Nolfi's The Adjustment Bureau is "loosely based" on a short story by Philip K. Dick, some of whose other work served as the basis for sci-fi successes Blade Runner, Total Recall, and Minority Report. Reading a synopsis of Dick's Adjustment Team online however, one gets the impression that Nolfi's own contribution, as screenwriter, is significant.

Unlike last year's Inception, a very ambitious film which attempted to dramatize man's power over his subconscious, The Adjustment Bureau does not allow its special effects to overpower the story.

We have seen movies pitting free-will against determinism before (Gattaca, The Truman Show). What is extraordinary about The Adjustment Bureau is that it explicitly asks: free-will for selfish happiness or determinism for the greater good? It is a marriage of two fundamental themes: free-will vs. determinism, and selfishness vs self-sacrifice.

This is the first movie I've seen in a theater since The King's Speech in January, and it was a rich experience. Some dialogue towards the end is delivered a little too casually, but the overall picture is none the worse for it. (Picture gets an extra mark for casting Emily Blunt as the love interest.)

Highly recommended.

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I guess that I will have to go see this movie (The Adjustment Bureau appeared for the first time in Stockholm movie theaters last Friday, but I have not had time to see it yet).

I have often found that I enjoy science fiction movies which are based on novels by Phiip K. Dick. I have never read Dick´s novels, however.

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