Movie Review: The Circle
The Circle (2017) is a techno-thriller based on the novel of the same name by Dave Eggers. It was directed and written by James Ponsoldt and Dave Eggers. The movie starts Emma Watson (Mae Holland), Tom Hanks (Eamon Bailey; head founder), and John Boyega (Ty Lafitte; co-founder). The film follows Mae Holland (Emma Watson) as she works for leading technology company, the Circle. The three wise men and founders (Tom Hanks, Patton Oswalt (Tom Stenton; co-founder), and John Boyega) use their innovation and social media prowess to extend their reach around the world. Their hope is to encapsulate everyone and everything, under one network.
They're Watching You
For better or worse, the movie is a straight adaptation of the novel; however, a lot did not translate well. The technology for one, looked hokey and unrealistic. The tech isn't presented in a way that is interesting or believable. Ultimately, they deteriorate into cringe and negatively affect the movie. I will also note that the book makes more of the technology presented on screen. Nothing presented on screen inherently looks "new" or "cool." Although, since the focus is on technology, it is questionable as to why the special effects couldn't be better than it was.
Even though high-profiled actors such as Emma Watson and John Boyega grace the screen, the movie has an eerie amateurish atmosphere. Somewhere, something got lost in translation. There is a major disconnect going on in the movie and it is easy noticeable. I wouldn't call any of the main cast bad actors, but their lackluster performances in the movie is very noticeable. Other actors/actresses in the film that play throwaway characters do not add anything to the movie. And Karen Gillan's (Annie; Mae's best friend) Australian accent is borderline incomprehensible and bad.
As a whole, The Circle is an average movie about how technology and social media can affect our daily lives. In essence, the Circle is a monopoly and the movie is a cautionary tale of what happens when a company amasses such power. The ending is fine tuned to Hollywood (given the book's "evil" ending) and serves the movie better as a whole. There are small improvements and alternations to the plot here are there, but overall the movie a bore to people who havre already read the book. But, oddly enough the scenes that are ridiculous in nature (even in the book), I found myself having a good laugh from. The movie shines when not being taken seriously. And it delivers a moral message anyone can learn from. Is it better to forsake privacy for technological achievements? If the movie gets anything right, it is that we need to be aware of companies that choose to control and watch our every move. But, when it comes to the film, it is best to wait for a DVD release.
The Circle is currently in theaters worldwide.