The Jewish Adjustment Bureau
A few days ago I saw the movie “The Adjustment Bureau” starring Matt Damon and Emily Blunt. I liked the movie because it was fun and not the thriller/chaser/blood & guts film you might expect.
For anyone who hasn’t seen the movie and wants to, please stop reading now because I’m going to discuss some of the core ideas.
The movie plays with the idea that there are many levels of ‘messengers’ or ‘agents’ who do the bidding of a higher power called ‘The Chairman’. For every person there is a plan and these agents make sure that we are all staying on our plan because chance circumstances can sometimes derail things. It’s a great concept to play with even to the point of having someone trip and fall which delays them just those few seconds needed to miss a bus etc. etc.
The bump in the plan is when the two heroes are determined to be together even though they’re not supposed to be. The movie raises the question of whether or not you can change your plan. After the movie I had a fantastic discussion about the Jewish themes that weave throughout the movie. The concept of ‘angels‘ or ‘agents’ follows a Jewish thread but most importantly, the idea that determination and genuine heartfelt commitment can indeed change our fates, our ‘plans’.
That is the essence of Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. The idea that there is a destiny drafted for each of us but that we can effect that draft before it is sealed. We are in part the creators of our own destinies. That’s why Judaism says we should choose every action we take and not allow things to ‘just happen’.
I definitely recommend the movie. :-)