I’m a BIG Philip K. Dick fan. I loved ‘The Man in the High Castle’ (tho’ I could never get to grips with ‘The Three Stigmata’) and I think it was this book which sparked my life-long love of alternative history. So I was intrigued by the thought of yet another PKD story being brought to the cinema. I've not read the short story The Adjustment Bureau was based on – I will – so I had to judge the film on its own merits.
Okay. David Norris (Matt Damon) is an up-and-coming politico with a penchant for self-destruction and a family tragedy writ large in his life. On the eve of being dumped out of a senatorial race after revelations about high-spirited shenanigans when he was younger he meets a rather fey and free-spirited dancer (Elise Sellas played by Emily Blunt) in the Mens’ Room (as you do!) and is instantly smitten. Unfortunately he has an encounter with representatives of the eponymous Adjustment Bureau who are required by ‘the Chairman’ to manipulate human activities to achieve specified outcomes, and one of these necessitates Norris never getting it together with Elise. Of course, having been smitten he can’t get the girl out of his head and spends the rest of the movie trying to find her, Fate having decided that no matter how determined the Adjustment Bureau operatives are that True Love will find a way.
Quite a simple story with some intriguing twists. Damon is excellent – he’s a fine actor – but Blunt I found less convincing. If I have to criticise the movie I would say that the ending isn’t quite as emotion wrenching as it could have been: the dilemma confronting Norris should have been made MUCH more difficult.
No matter: I thought it was a good film … not great but good. The girls liked it too, though I think they would have liked more of a Notebook-esque denouement. A chick movie with attitude.