Chosen One of the Day: The Hats from the Adjustment Bureau

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Aug 3, 2017

Getting around a big city can be tough. Traffic is a nightmare, and public transit can be just as obnoxious. Bus schedules are confusing. Subways are hot and loud and, as any New Yorker can attest to, kinda a giant sh*t show right now. There are weird people and strange smells everywhere.

Wouldn't it just be easier if we could teleport wherever we want to go? Wouldn't it be great if the key to doing so was fashionable?

In The Adjustment Bureau, the secret to speedy travel around the world is all in your head. Or what's on top of it, anyway.

The Agents of the Bureau travel by means of their dapper little fedoras and a special way of turning a doorknob (it's just a matter of turning it one direction vs. another, really). It's a great system. Put on a hat, walk through a door, end up at the Statue of Liberty, or downtown Manhattan, or on top of the Empire State Building.

There is even, apparently, a hierarchy of hats, according to the film's costume designer. The fancier the hat, the higher up the ranks you are. Of course, they never really get into what that means, exactly. If you're higher up the ranks, do you travel longer distances? It there an express hat and a local hat? Do you get into exclusive places that the folks with the simple, common hats just cannot access?

But I have to admit, after seeing the movie multiple times, my questions are less about the function of the hats themselves and more about who is able to use them. During the film, Matt Damon borrows a hat from one of the agents and is able to use the teleportation system quite easily, despite having no clue where he is going. So I wonder … can anyone use the system? And, if so, does it require a hat made with a special process or tools (I don't know how hats are made)? Are the hats made of special material, and each level uses a different kind, sort of like the wands in Harry Potter?

Or are they just hats? Can any hipster in a fedora walking down the street accidentally turn a doorknob the wrong way and end up in Paris or London or in the middle of a busy street with no understanding of how they got there?

These are very important questions, because transit, in any form, takes far too long. I've been waiting patiently for a teleportation device for years, and I'd really like to be able to sleep in a bit in the morning. Plus, I look damn good in hats.