What exactly is the “circle” you ask? Well in John Ponsoldt’s latest film, it’s a lame attempt to attach itself to the “hip” ideals of the information age while riding the wave of a millennial’s attachment to social media. A tech heavy plot that never makes enough sense to make up for all of it’s obvious short comings.
The beautiful Emma Watson plays Mae, a young woman who is hired on by a huge tech company the “Circle.” Once there she works her way to the top and eventually is handpicked by the company’s founder Eamon Bailey (Tom Hanks) to take on a new invention.
The film features a range of talent including Hanks, Watson, John Boyega and the late Bill Paxton. Unfortunately the movie never seems to do a great job of utilizing the talents to their full capabilities. Boyega gets minimal screen time and when you finally see his character Ty, he basically just spends most of his scenes watching in disbelief from afar. Watson’s character does way too much talking, but the worst part is, it really isn’t about anything important and Hanks doesn’t do anything special or worth noting.
The Circle drops the ball way too many times to count, but the message it is trying to send does hold some weight. We’re living in the age of social media and computer technology. This film brings to light that technology is reaching a point where people can’t live without it. Our privacy is at the lowest point it’s even been. Communication is widespread but largely impersonal. We are way too reliant on our tech to get us through the day. The social invention that Watson’s character experiments with in the film is somewhat feasible and not too far-fetched. The idea that somewhere down the line someone will have an option to broadcast every second of their life to the world. The sad part is that it’s fairly conceivable that this sort of thing would attract a lot of followers.
I am convinced the message the film is sending is a warning to this generation on the direction we are headed in with technology and how we aren’t paying enough attention to the dangers it may cause down the road let alone now. It’s a reminder for us to open our eyes and not be blinded by the “glitz” that new technology and social media come with. This all takes a backseat to what plays out on-screen. The movie lacks direction and has little to no focus. There’s no stable coherent plot, things just seem to happen without much reason or purpose. None of the characters have substance and they all seem to lack development.
The Circle is labeled a Sci-Fi/Thriller, but the problem is there’s nothing thrilling about it or even Sci-Fi for that matter. What the movie is though is boring, choppy, senseless, and undeveloped. This is one of the biggest letdowns of 2017. A pure waste of top talent. It attempts to look too futuristic for its own good with text popping up all over the screen that’s way more distracting than relevant. Way too much clutter with little substance. The Circle definitely lives up to it’s name as the plot goes round and round but with no purpose.