Recalibration complete. That’s right, I am the Chairman, and I just had you recalibrated so you would love this movie. Chances are, though, you didn’t need the recalibration in the first place. I know I didn’t.
This stunning tale of forbidden romance, mysterious totalitarian control, and the dichotomy between free will and predestination comes through strong in this alternate reality tale. David Norris is a US Congressman that is vying for the New York state Senate race. He loses to his competitor, but ends up meeting stunning Elise in the men’s bathroom. This quirky introduction is just the finite tip of her outgoing personality, and the two instantly hit it off. Fate is on their side when they meet again, against the wishes of the Adjustment Borough, who happen to slip up that morning by missing the chance to have Norris spill his coffee.
After the fateful meeting, Norris is abducted by the Borough and finds out how they control every aspect of our lives in an effort to shape things for the better. They tell him that he cannot pursue Elise because it is not in the master plan, which is the guide for all of their actions.
While they seemingly have the world’s best interests in mind, Norris is not satisfied, and spends the next few years thinking of her constantly. It is only when they meet randomly once again when he sees her on the street that he feels complete. Instantly, the borough arrives to intervene, as they have been following him closely since it is hinted he is meant to become President.
A haphazard battle for control ensues, as the borough tries to dissuade Norris, and eventually succeeds by telling him he would ruin her career if he stayed with her. More time passes, during which Elise gets engaged once more to her old fiance.
The end culminates with a bang, as Norris races through time and space in order to salvage his love and win Elise back. She is transfixed by him, and even though he has hurt her, he trusts her. This, while one of the sappiest parts of the movie, is the part I enjoyed the most. She willingly chooses the unknown because he is guiding her. Their love is some unspeakable connection that draws them together even when the the gods push them apart. For a neoplatonist like myself, this universal and seemingly everlasting desire is really the highlight of the film.
Other than that, it’s just a cool concept that I think was well developed. The movie gives us enough background information on this mysterious agency in order to be satisfied and not distracted by gaping plot holes or eluded answers. However, while this story is certainly complete, it would be interesting to see how the borough handles other cases – certainly Norris can’t be the only one who ever found out about them, nor the only one who ever challenged their authority.
In any case, it is a tale that gets its point across throughout its duration. Love surpasses everything, even the will of the gods, if it is true enough. And every path can be changed, or perhaps bent, if one is strong enough to mend their ways.