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Predestination and Free Will

Updated on March 17, 2011
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A Look on the Film "The Adjustment Bureau"

A love story rolled into a science fiction thriller.

That is what came to my mind when I first saw the trailer of the film The Adjustment Bureau.  It was a good trailer, if you ask me.  What could have appealed to more people than a trailer that made one realize that the thing they are looking for in a movie is in this movie?  For sure, the movie had attracted those who wish to watch romance.  It has also appealed to those who want thrill and excitement.  I, for one, had decided to watch the movie out of curiosity and in view of the creativity that is in this type of fiction.  Perhaps, they did well and brought more people to theaters, or maybe they did worse by alienating people who do not want one or two of these in the film they will be watching.  We can never tell; that is for others to determine.

For me, The Adjustment Bureau is a movie that attempts to explain to us, albeit in a modern and creative way, how angels, fate or chance (depending on your belief) work things out to make sure that our actions lead to something desirable not only for ourselves, but also for the people around us.  In so doing, the film highlighted the concept of free will which the main protagonist raised in an audience with bureau personnel.

I believe that the film attempts to answer the question of how predestination and free will come together.  The key question here is how God can work His plan out without taking back the gift of free will.  And to this, the answer is perhaps through adjustments we initially believe to be caused by chance, but which are, in reality, planned coincidences.  This brings us to a further question on the ending of the movie (SPOILER ALERT):  Did the Chairman really change His mind and rewrote the plan for the two?  Perhaps.  After all, that is what the story said.  I, on the other hand, believe that the Chairman did not.  Instead, this has been His plan ever since; all the other existent "plans" are but accessories and props that enhance the stage in which the protagonists perform in accordance to the main plan.  For this to happen, there has to be limitations to the power of the people doing the individualized work in the bureau; after all, they are not the Chairman.

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