The other night, Jimmy and I decided to watch a movie. He flipped through the choices stopping on The Adjustment Bureau (TAB) starring Matt Damon. At first I said, “No way am I watching another film where Matt Damon plays a buff but emotionless character, (usually some kind of assassin or hero), or a character without emotion.
Surprisingly, the plot based on a 1954 science fiction novelette called The Adjustment Team by Philip K. Dick drew me right in. If you haven’t seen TAB, a likable guy (David) runs for a New York senate seat when some typical college pics surface and cause him to lose the race. Why these seemingly benign pictures caused him to lose the race didn’t make sense to me, but I discovered the reason later in the film.
The night of his senatorial demise he meets Emily Blunt (Elise) in a bathroom where they click and kiss. Great chemistry. Then they get separated only to be reunited and then separated and reunited and separated.
In this film, every person has his or her life mapped out for them by the Chairman of The Adjustment Bureau. When a person gets off the map, the guy assigned to trail said person adjusts the person’s brain to get them back on track. In David’s case, they decide not to readjust him and instead warn him that if he tells anyone about TAB they will erase his mind. They also warn him to forget about Elise.
But he can’t.David’s unending love for Elise proves to be an uber challenge for TAB teams. So much so that his compassionate pseudo-angel of sorts Harry Mitchell, helps him get to her by lending him his hat, which has the power to let the wearer use doors as wormholes to quickly traverse the city.
After keeping his knowledge of TAB secret for three years, he finally has to tell Elise (in another bathroom) to keep her from marrying someone she doesn’t really love.
I loved the movie because David refused to obey. He refused to stay on the beaten path. He refused to give up trying to be with Elise. The theme “love conquers all” kept weaving its way through the film.
And the voice over at the end blew me away (much like the voice over at the end of my beloved “Summer of ’42. Guess I’m a sucker for a good voice over.)
David’s pseudo-angel Harry Mitchell said, “Most people live life on the path we set for them. Too afraid to explore any other. But once in a while people like you come along and knock down all the obstacles we put in your way. People who realize free will is a gift, you’ll never know how to use until you fight for it. I think that’s The Chairman’s real plan. And maybe, one day, we won’t write the plan. You will.”
Beautifully said! Everything I’m talking about on this blog and in my life shops.
Get off the path others have selected for you and find your own. Activate your free will or you will lose it. You will become so frightened and frozen, that you will not be able to make decisions in your own best self interest.
I talk with folks who have convinced themselves that working to buy generic stuff makes them happy. The crowded malls with their chain stores attest to that fact. If I just get the latest gadget, I’ll feel good about myself. That was not my experience. The stuff did not feel like a reward for staying on the path. No reward existed that would make me feel happy on that path.
I had to get off or I was going to perish.
How about you? Do you feel that you use your free will or someone else’s unfree will? And is The Adjustment Bureau sci-fi or does it really exist?
Many thanks, Giulietta