The Circle Review

Without the use of technology, every single person in the world would be living in a cave. But technology has changed drastically every single year improving itself in so many ways. But can we live in a society where the world can take a look at your life every single moment, every single minute? The Circle might take that approach in a fashion that makes it believable.

Mae Holland (Emma Watson) seizes the opportunity of a lifetime when she lands a job with the world’s most powerful technology and social media company. Encouraged by the company’s founder Eamon Bailey (Tom Hanks), Mae joins a groundbreaking experiment that pushes the boundaries of privacy, ethics and personal freedom.

Emma Watson and John Boyega in The Circle (2017)

While I never read the book that Dave Eggers published, this does at least have an interesting concept that might make it a good thriller revolving technology. And the way it was executed was poorly done in the most boring and uneventful way imaginable. Director James Ponsoldt (The Spectacular Now, The End of the Tour) really didn’t have the energy make us invest in the environment. He and Eggers wrote adapted this book, and they turned it into a dull story that doesn’t become good. Just shows that some authors can’t translate their own work to the big screen.

The way that The Circle, which is a mixture of something like Google and Apple, is being shown made it feel like some kind of cult, but it’s just a company filled with nice employees knowing every single person’s business and get amped up about everything during TED Talk like speeches involving new tech ideas. And they show people’s comments during certain scenes, and I call major BS that these are nice comments all over the place.

While I always thought Emma Watson is a terrific actress, there was really nothing about her character that made me invested in her journey when she gains popularity from the Circle. Why does she need to show every single person what she’s doing? Because it’s mandatory. Her performance was honestly one-note since she doesn’t work well with John Boyega or Ellar Coltrane (Boyhood), respectively.

Tom Hanks in The Circle (2017)

Speaking of Coltrane, I gave him a pass on Boyhood, but he was truly awful in this. Just hearing the lines of dialogue he’s speaking through me off immensely.

Tom Hanks, even in bad movies, tends to be the only one who’s trying because he’s the most likable actor alive. Though his Steve Jobs-type character does seem shady with what’s really going on with The Circle. He was probably the film’s saving grace, but it doesn’t mean anything. Along with Boyega, they both don’t get to do anything but talk and give information, as well as Patton Oswalt. What a waste of good actors.

If there was anything that felt tense, a term used loosely, it occurred halfway through in an unintentionally funny way it was filmed. That was the only moment of conflict. Even the third act is very dismal when it’s trying to reach the point of not making one iota.

Emma Watson and Jennifer Fernandez in The Circle (2017)

They want to make the film focus on privacy that we need in everyday life. Not everything needs to be documented to the whole entire world because it is an invasion of privacy for things we do. I don’t every single thing on Twitter just because I’m bored, but it would be unnatural. I don’t want cameras at every corner where I need to go. When it comes to privacy, there can be some pros and cons when discussing this topic. Even Mae’s parents (Bill Paxton and Glenne Headly in their final film performances before and after their deaths) are the mind of reason as they are thinking the same thing that I myself has been saying all this time. If the book was trying to be similar to 1984, it failed to do just that.

There’s just nothing about The Circle that’s interesting because barely anything is exciting about this thriller at all since the acting is bland, the story isn’t do justice to what it was going for today’s world, and it incorporates so many bad elements to make us feel disconnected to what’s happening and not giving a crap.

The Circle tried to be smart and intriguing even with its cast, and it failed to connect to anybody with the film’s overbearing themes.

Grade: D+

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