Movie Review: The Circle

What is the “circle” exactly? In the case of John Ponsoldt’s latest, it’s a cheap attempt to latch onto the “hip” zeitgeist while hitching a ride to millennial’s attachment to social media. It’s a tech heavy plot that doesn’t ever make enough sense to make up for the obvious short comings.

Emma Watson plays Mae, a young woman who gets hired by a huge tech company called the “Circle”. Once there she rises through the ranks and is handpicked by company founder Eamon Bailey (Tom Hanks) to spearhead a new invention.

The film features an eclectic cast of talent including the star wattage of  Hanks, Watson, John Boyega and the late Bill Paxton. Unfortunately they don’t do well  in utilizing those talents to their capabilities. Boyega gets little screen time and when you see his character Ty, he’s basically just staring in disbelief from far away. Watson character does a lot of talking, but it’s really just yapping about nothing important. Hanks barely does anything worth noting.

The Circle fails on many accounts, but the message it is trying to send does hold some weight. We are living in a time of social media and computer technology. This film touches on the fact that all the technology is reaching a point where people can’t function without it. Privacy is as an all-time low. Communication between people is widespread but impersonal. We are reliant on our technology to get us through the day. The social invention that Watson’s character experiments with in the movie is fairly feasible and not too far-fetched. We seem to be getting close in society to being in a place where someone will have an option to broadcast ever minute of their life to the world. The sad part is that it’s fairly conceivable that this sort of thing would attract many followers.

There is no denying that the message that the movie sends is a warning to us about the direction we are headed in with technology and how we aren’t paying attention to the dangers that it may cause. It is a reminder to open your eyes and don’t be blinded by the glitz of what technology and social media provide. All this takes a backseat to what plays out on screen. The movie lacks any direction and has no focus. There isn’t a stable and coherent plot, things just happen without much reason or purpose. None of the characters have any substance and they lack development.

The Circle is billed as a Sci-Fi and thriller, but the problem is there is nothing thrilling about it or even Sci-Fi. What the movie is though is boring, senseless, choppy and undeveloped. This is a biggest letdown of 2017. A waste of a top name talent. It tries to look too slick for its own good with all the text popping up on screen that’s way more distracting than relevant. Too much clutter with little substance. The Circle lives up to it’s name as the plot goes round and round in a circle with no purpose.


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