The Circle movie review: an extension of today’s social media landscape that doesn’t hold water
Say director James Ponsoldt The circle – adapted from Dave Eggers’ 2013 novel – is just an extension of the current social media landscape that wouldn’t undermine the film. It takes the narrative of an “everyone online” world and raises the bar. It’s The Social Network, except where the whole world is online and everything is transparent. These are the dangers of over-reliance on one’s digital fingerprints.
Emma Watson plays Mae, a young 20-something living at home, looking for a better job and indifferent to pursuing anything with her childhood friend Mercer (played by Ellar Coltrane). A call from friend Annie (played by Karen Gillan) leads to an interview with the “dream” company – a Google-type company trying to take over the world, hell privacy. It’s a company that knows absolutely everything there is to know about you and stores massive amounts of data from each of its account holders.
It embraces the belief that privacy must be put on the back burner and that constant surveillance is the way of life. Mae passes the interview and finds herself immersed in a business, blurring the lines between private and public life. Company co-founder Eamon (played by Tom Hanks) takes a liking to Mae’s profile and her meteoric rise is thanks to him. It’s only when she comes into contact with mysterious coworker Tye (played by John Boyega) that she realizes the bigger and more damaging implications of the work she and the company are doing.
At the start of the film, and the only time we see Hanks onscreen during the entire first half, is when Mae attends her first Dream Friday, a weekly pep talk hosted by co-founder Eamon, who explains how good The Circle is for everyone in the world. It is as if Steve Jobs is giving a speech in front of Apple employees, except with consequences beyond just the company. In this Dream Friday, Eamon unveils a round, tiny shiny camera that can be attached to any surface and is nearly impossible to spot. A real-time live feed of the environment surrounding the camera, directly into your feed. At the age of senior
In this Dream Friday, Eamon unveils a round, tiny shiny camera that can be attached to any surface and is nearly impossible to spot. A real-time live feed of the environment surrounding the camera, directly into your feed. In the age of high surveillance, it sounds very NSA.
The movie‘s problem begins when the actions – after the Dream Friday speech – the company takes seem to only affect those inside campus, extending to Mae’s parents and Mercer. He feels disconnected. The configuration can be Black mirror-esque but none of the ideas are actually explored. It’s a movie that didn’t try to push the boundaries
The character of Mercer is designed to be an integral part of the film’s ending but falls off the radar in a few rambling scenes. The same can be said of Annie’s character going from a powerful player within The Circle to utter mess in a few scenes that leave the viewer in suspense. Tye’s character doesn’t stretch enough, and his near-stranger’s charm wears off quite quickly.
Obsession with social networks?
The circle has an obsession with social media and at first there was a chance it would develop. Mae is informed at her desk that she has fallen behind on her social media presence and needs to improve her game in the course of her job, although it is completely “optional.” The push to share is all for its own good, of course. Again, the fully optional part was only a throwaway.
Watson emotionally exhausted
The anchor, the eyes and ears of the public, the lighthouse of The circle is Watson. During her 24/7 “transparent” life, her emotions fall flat. Naturally, a character like this should evoke some sort of emotion – fear, empathy, curiosity, shock, wonder, etc. – except Watson is as full as dishwater except for a scene or two.
Despite being the new “smartest” person in the organization, Watson is made stupid in her various interactions with Hanks and is unsurprisingly caught up in a web of lies she is barely trying to get out of.
The film is lost with his immense taste for exposure. When you want comedy, she’s not there. When we want speech to slow down, it accelerates. When you want a lighter moment to interrupt the heavy moments, you don’t get it.
One of the parts the movie gets properly is when a commentary stream appears onscreen – intense scrutiny, support, taunts, and attention seekers – after Mae goes transparent. This flow of information, thanks to the millions of The circle feels relatable as we choose to share more and more of our lives on various social networks. It may be just at the surface level, but there is a connection nonetheless.
Should we watch it?
As it turns out, the film waits too long for its final reveal and gets tangled up with emotionless characters and a heavy script in the middle.
There is not enough balance between the “online” and “offline” worlds that people live in, and that leaves a lot to be desired as those who try to defend their privacy are simply sidelined. . Built like a thriller, this one misses a lot of what a thriller encompasses. Sure, The circle is beautiful with all of its cutting edge technology and modern campus, but the management seemed a bit too simplistic.
In the end, it’s a thriller without strong feelings and with empty characters. He may find his one or two fans enjoying Watson’s charming but disengaged acting, or Hanks giving speech after speech, but you can’t recommend a movie like this. Avoid unless you are bored and nothing else is on TV.