If you ever wonder what it looks like to take some young up and coming talent like Emma Watson, John Boyega and Karen Gillan, then you throw in some veteran talent like Tom Hanks, Bill Paxton and Paton Oswalt, add in a controversial social issue along with a popular source material? Well you get The Circle. This is a movie that on paper should have worked but in reality fails miserably. The film centres on a young woman (Watson) who gains an entry-level job at The Circle, and becomes involved in their program to create a world of digital transparency. Imagine a hybrid of Google, Facebook and Apple and you get The Circle, a digital and technology company that wants to connect the world. Though unlike the fun, wacky googlers from The Internship we get a creepy over the top parody of what people think millennials are like. The film takes technology obsession to the next level in an obscure way that possibly reflect the consumerism and voyeuristic nature that society has potentially succumb to.
Movies like The Circle make me angry, not because it is a bad movie but because of its potential. The movie has some serious subject matter around privacy, data mining and our digital footprint but rather than actually take a stance and create a movie with consequence it just brushes over it. We saw something similar in 2016s Nerve, which dealt with the idea of anonymity in the digital space and how it affects people in real life. Rather than actually have people experience any consequence for their actions online the movie gives a middle finger to the audience and says, if you log off now nothing bad will happen. The same thing happens in The Circle. The film shows the sick voyeuristic nature in human beings but doesn’t really do anything with it. People suck, we should embrace it fully is essentially the theme of The Circle.
Besides the movies inability to take a stance on the controversial topic, it is horribly directed. James Ponsoldt might not be a household name but he directed a fantastic coming of age drama in The Spectacular Now, which is not too dissimilar to The Circle. The film has a young talented cast with some strong veteran actors and an interesting look at society, whilst be a well made film. Unfortunately it didn’t work this time, which I attribute to the poor script and terrible directing. The pacing and structure of the film completely took me out of the film and ruined any suspense. It felt like the movie was made out of order with Watson’s character discovering The Circle is up to no good and affecting her personal life, then embracing the circle for a large part of the movie to discover at the very end that human beings are. The pacing also doesn’t help audience engagement as I was bored very quickly in this movie and it did not regain my attention.
As you can probably gather by the name of my blog I am a millennial, and that is why I hate these types of films. I know every generation has their stereotype, which is fine to sometimes laugh at or even play up, but this was ridiculous. Films like The Circle fail to deliver any consequence to the actions in the story, highlighting millennials, even intelligent ones, as mindless drones or morons. I love the cast of this movie and thought the concept sounded interesting but the movie was anything but that. I was bored, I didn’t care about the characters and I didn’t see the point to the film.
Don’t see it.
The Circle scores 2/10
Have you seen The Circle? What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments below.
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