Monday, July 25, 2011

The Adjustment Bureau and Free Will

Film Grade: C+

The Adjustment Bureau is Matt’s Damon’s latest action film, which gives you everything - a convincing romance, an intriguing plot and bad guys who chase you. What it doesn’t have, however, is moral truth.

 It’s about a Congressman, David Norris, who, when he meets a pretty girl in the men’s bathroom, finds out that their meeting was not part of “The Plan”. Through chance, they meet a few more times and have to fight against “The Plan” for “their plan”.  

Well, at least it’s entertaining. The action and thriller aspect of the film definitely doesn’t leave you bored.  Emily Blunt and Matt Damon have a pretty dynamic chemistry and play their roles convincingly. The special effects aren’t bad. The whole film sparks discussion as to its view on free will and the connection it has to fate.

That’s pretty much all I can say for pros.  While it’s good to spark such a discussion, the view it portrays in the film is certainly faulty. It’s as if the director wanted this movie to portray his imagination of why bad things happen to people. 

Just to list some other cons: God and His “bureau” are painted as the bad guys, who keep us from doing what we want. How dare they. We obviously know better. The “bad guys” discourage marriage and family life, when the opposite is obviously true. The girl is bad for Norris because she “fills the void” – when nothing in this life will ever fill the void but God. 

So what’s the deal with this movie and free will? Well, it’s pretty much heretical in saying we don’t really have it. It’s an allusion, apparently. We are forced to do what we don’t want to do, and They will invade our minds if they have to. Which is completely false. God respects our free will so much that He lets us make our bed and lay in it. He is a gentleman that never forces Himself or His plans on us. As for bad why things happen, that’s a whole other discussion…

Now, I know this is a movie, and movies are make believe. But when it comes to theology, it’s best to just stay away from it if it’s not going to be true. Case and point with The Da Vinci Code. Art is supposed to have truth, beauty and goodness in order for it to get a message across the right way, or at least give realistic expressions of them. Without truth, it’s just bad art. It should direct us out of ourselves, rather than further into ourselves.

The moral of the story I got from the film was that we’re greater than God and we can make our own plans. And in some sense, we do make them, since we can freely choose them. But we do not have ultimate control over our lives. 

And thank God we don’t.

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