Sharing is caring, guys. Now what’s your social-security?!?
Mae Holland (Emma Watson) is just another young adult wasting her life away at her soulless job, taking calls and punching in data. She wants so much more, but she doesn’t know just what that is. That’s why when she gets the opportunity of a lifetime, she grabs it and doesn’t let go. The high-tech company is called the Circle and although Mae will be working an entry-level job there, it’s enough to get her foot in the door and hopefully, give her a chance to take care of her parents (Glenne Headly and Bill Paxton, tragically enough). But while there, Mae realizes that something’s up with just about everyone who works there; they all want to know what she’s up to, they have so much information on her and her life, they want her to participate more, and oh yeah, they want see what Mae is up to, day in and day out. While Mae is initially for it, attaching a camera to her shirt so that the whole world-wide web can see her every move, it starts to take a negative toll on her, as well as those around her. But the CEO (Tom Hanks) is taking notice, so what can be so wrong about that?
Despite a great cast, a great director (James Ponsoldt), and oh yeah, a great writer (Dave Eggers), the Circle is far from great. In fact, it’s the kind of misguided and ridiculously messy piece of techno-junk that should have been better because of the themes about privacy and the internet it touches on, but also seems like it was written maybe a decade ago and never really updated to really reflect current-day issues. I’d expect less from people who probably didn’t know what they were doing, or talking about, but everyone here not only knows better, but they should definitely know what they’re talking about.
So what gave?
Well, whatever the real reasons are, the Circle seems like a rushed-job that, at about halfway through filming, everybody sort of gave up on and you can sort of tell. The editing is so choppy and amateurish, even certain character’s words don’t match up with their mouths. Even worse is that when there are opportunities to create real, genuine tension, the movie mixes-and-matches with its cuts, as if it’s too afraid you’ll get bored by just one static shot on Tom Hanks, or Emma Watson, or John Boyega, or Bill Paxton, or Karen Gillan, or hell, anyone else here! Why so many talented and smart people seem to fell for this thing, is totally beyond me, because you can even tell that the script, no matter how many times it was rewritten, just didn’t fully come together.
For instance, it’s supposed to be a thriller about the internet-age taking advantage of people and their lack of privacy, but also doesn’t seem to understand that the real world is far too smart to take a huge company like this seriously. Like why would someone as young as Mae be so cool with signing her life away, when she knows that the only way for it to end, is for it to end horribly wrong? Her character is confusing too, in that she seems like she’s a smart fire-cracker who may be a tad bit naive, but the way she acts when she’s at the company is far too idiotic to take serious.
It also doesn’t help that Emma Watson isn’t very good in this role, either.
Sure, a lot of it’s the awful script and the haphazard direction, but a great deal of it is that Mae has to go through a great deal of emotions throughout and it doesn’t seem like Watson has that range. She’s either too quiet, or pouty, but without ever expressing rage or sheer anger. It’s odd, really.
And sadly, nobody else fares any better. Like, you’d think that the prospect of Tom Hanks playing something of a bad guy would bring about some interest, as mild as it may be, but even his character seems weirdly-written. He’s not nefarious in the sense that he’s trying to take over the world and kill everybody, but he’s just a little shady in the sense that he wants everybody to broadcast every second of their lives, every day, no matter what. So, does that make him a bad guy, or the people who fall for his crap just really, really dumb?
Who knows? Actually, who cares. This movie sucks.
Consensus: Even with a solid cast and crew on-board, the Circle never comes together, seeming like it doesn’t know what it’s talking about, or doesn’t know what it wants to say about literally anything.
3 / 10
Photos Courtesy of: EuropaCorp / STXfilms