The Adjustment Bureau – Review

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Philip K. Dick has been a well of material for the Hollywood machine since the attempted adaption of Ubik in 1974. After 37 years and at least ten feature films later, tinsletown is up to it again. From the imaginative fingers of George Nolfi comes this next attempt at bringing the mad novelist ideas to the big screen.

Based on the short story Adjustment Team, this new vision takes liberties with Dick’s original plot and tries to limit his lovely madness for general audiences. In The Adjustment Bureau, David Norris is a charismatic politician whose life is changed on the night of his political fall when he meets a deliriously attractive woman. Unable to get her out of his mind he seeks to find his Cinderella and take the chance of a life together with her. Things get even more complicated when agents from an unknown bureau try to stop David, the only reason they give him is that it goes against “the plan”.

Without a doubt the shinning star in this flick is Emily Blunt. Her character, Elise Sellas, carries such an infectious quality that enters the audiences heart and will stay with them long after they leave the theater. Without over loading us with her presence Nolfi keeps her just out of reach with limited time screen time just to raise our desire to see more of her. The dirty trick works, because it enhances our already sympathic feelings for David. Nolfi’s script does an excellent job of not over explaining every detail of this off center story, leaving the audience to define the details that create this world.

Unfortunately, this film comes out in a time when so many people still have such epic films as Inception in their minds. While this film shares, at its heart enough emotion and passion to compete with these large films, it lacks the presentation. The stylization of this was definitely in the hands of a first time director. While not handled in a bad way, the vision could have been more defined and stronger.

Maybe the transition from screenwriter to director is a small thing to blame for this simple visual perspective but Nolfi’s roots in writing didn’t hurt the story. Enjoying this film will not come difficultly, if anything it will really allow the audience a chance to really consider the relationship they currently have and those that they desire to have.

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