Friday, August 5, 2011

The Adjustment Bureau

If you want to know how to present the Christian faith in stealth mode, this is it. If you want to know about how to place hope in a package and deliver it to people in writing, study this movie. If you want a lesson in consummate skillful storytelling, look no further. I was blown away.

The Adjustment Bureau is a movie I would have boycotted, because I’ve grown frustrated with Matt Damon’s idiotic political sentiments and I’ve had quite enough of all of that. But it came highly recommended one night when some gents and I were gathered round for cigars and conversation.

Our conversation touched on many topics, but one of them was the paradoxical relationship between predestination and free will. Naturally, in hindsight, talk turned to this movie. I tend to think of movies like a visual story when they’re good, and this one was. And I think that one of the things that makes a story good, visual or not, is that it asks questions and provides some leads for some possible answers, leaving it to the audience to decide the answer—if indeed the question has an answer. Sometimes it doesn’t.

In the case of the questions this movie poses, it’s pretty clear that none of us have the answers. We can speculate, and better yet we can run through various illustrative scenarios, which is stimulating. The basic premise is this: Can a man change God’s mind? And if so…what would it take? Interesting ideas, yes? It’s the stuff of which good stories are made. Foundationally simple yet profound ideas. I love food for thought, and that’s what The Adjustment Bureau is. I recommend it.