Resurrected Living
"What are you going to do with your new resurrected life? This is the heroic question." Richard Rohr

The Adjustment Bureau

The first few months of the year are the worst for movies goers.  I’ve endured several bad films over the last couple of months and that was after eliminating some before I even saw them because I knew they were going to be horrible.  I’m pleased to tell you that The Adjustment Bureau is the first good film of the year.  It’s not only good it is great.  It stars Matt Damon as David Norris, a politician running for senator who accidentally stumbles upon something he was not supposed to see.  Norris falls in love with Elise Sellas played by Emily Blunt.  David Norris finds it hard to establish a relationship with Elise, because of his recent discovery of the adjust bureau.  They have a plan for him and it does not involve Elise.

The Adjustment Bureau is a thrilling movie that keeps you guessing until the very end.  It plays with the tension between free will and predestination.  The Bureau are angels who occasionally have to make slight adjustments in a person’s life to keep them on track.  They do not control a person’s emotions or feelings and only step in when they stray from the chairman’s plans.  Surprisingly the movie does not swing too far to one side or the other.  Some things are predestined while a person still maintains free will about many other things.

While preachers and theologians will likely fawn over the ideas of predestination and free will in the movie, others may notice another important theme.  The movie asks the main characters to choose between success and love.  This is an interesting dilemma especially in our success obsessed culture.  In other times throughout history this tension may have seemed ridiculous, but not in our present society.  I do not believe it would be uncommon to find individuals who would give up love in order to obtain success.  You will have to see the movie to find out what happens.

This is a highly entertaining movie that deals with elements of spirituality.  There is the tension between free will and predestination.  There is the presence of angels (agents) and God (The chairman).  There is the idea that our life means something and the choices we make are important.  I can foresee some Christians blasting this movie, because it is very general.  The angels are not emotional beings with the exception of one.  We never get to see or know who God is.  At the same time I can also see Atheists dismissing the movie as a work of Science Fiction (It is based on a short story by the author of Blade Runner and Minority Report, but I would not classify it as Science Fiction).  Personally I am encouraged to see Hollywood produce a movie like this.  I understand there are some major theological problems with the movie and a person could come away with a warped view of God and angels, but I would rather a person wrestle with these issues than to never be reminded of them at all, or to be introduced to a far worse concept.  For example, I think it would be more beneficial for a group of friends to see this movie and discuss the various themes within it, than to see Avatar, a movie that promotes paganism and the worshiping of nature.  Hollywood very rarely gets it right theologically, but here is a movie that touches on some interesting concepts that people should think more about.  If a person comes away from this movie wanting to know more about free will or predestination, then this movie has done more good than most other movies that will be produced this year.

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