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The Adjustment Bureau

If you were predestined to be a Calvinist then you will have no choice about whether or not you go and see this movie.

It is fascinating to me that, suddenly after the Christchurch earthquake, our very secular (might I be so bold to say often-anti-Christian) media is full of “where was God in the earthquake” and discussions of (Philosophy 101) theodocy and the problem of evil.

Synchronous, then, is the movie, The Adjustment Bureau, which deals with just how much does… ummm… “the Chairman” interfere in our lives? How much are our lives fate and destiny, and how much free will do we actually have?

[Yes – little by little – some cinemas are beginning to open in Christchurch]

Some interesting thoughts about what caused the Dark Ages, the two world wars and the Depression…

Up to you whether what is presented is Christian or presenting an image significantly different to Christianity. I think that the movie is worth seeing just to get that discussion going – even simply internally. It seems that (surprisingly) these sorts of questions are not asked by many people… until there is a catastrophic natural event.

ps. if the lead actors are not prepared to kiss each other properly at a significant moment in the movie, don’t have a close-up. The movie requires quite a bit of suspension of disbelief – that isn’t helped if the leads’ acting quality breaks when an amorous scene, central to the plot, is required.

Spoilers following [and you can add them in the comments if you wish/need to]

It is interesting that some thought the film subliminally was reflecting on same-sex relationships. They point out David Norriss (Damon) first challenges with: “you don’t know why we can’t be together, you only have the plan/book.” When Thompson challenges him in the warehouse David Norriss pleads with a “how can it be wrong if I feel so right” speech. Thompson begins to uncover that their futures of greatness are in peril if they are together. But later we find out that this is simply a lie. So why can’t the happy couple be together, “because it’s not in the book.” And then the “twist” at the end: well, God says it’s ok. Personally, although I’m often told I find more in films than most others would – I struggle to find this level of message within the film.

Have you seen the movie? Add your reflections in the comments.

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4 Responses to The Adjustment Bureau

  1. Looks like “fatalism” vs. “free choice”. Not surprising, from an American perspective, considering the latter is so culturally sacrosanct that it takes precedence over just about everything.

  2. Interested in seeing this. Read your spoiler and a bit disappointed that they made it a “God” thing. Sounds like an easy explanation from a writer that ran out of ideas.
    The trailers we see in Los Angeles make it seem much more interesting in an old Rod Serling/Twilight Zone type of way.
    As for the above sneer at America… Bite me, or not… Feel free to choose!

  3. I saw this movie last week for philosophy 101.
    The film was very entertaining but predictable.
    Depending on how one takes it, you can see it
    as a fate vs. free will film, or you can see it
    as god vs. mankind [to an extent]

    HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

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About This Site Welcome to this ecumenical website of resources and reflections on liturgy, spirituality, and worship for individuals and communities. It is run by Rev. Bosco Peters.

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