When I first saw the trailer for The Circle, it reminded me a lot of the awesome BBC series Black Mirror, where they point out how technology could be used to bring out the worse in society. So I was immediately drawn into watching it, especially with it’s cast of Tom Hanks, Emma Watson, and John Boyega. But sadly as I watched, the movie had great moments of genius, but they never quite came together like they should, making for a decent film that could’ve been better had some careful care been shown to it.
Based on the best-seller by Dave Eggers, the plot centers around a young woman named Mae (Emma Watson) who is more than excited when she’s chosen to work at the biggest tech company in the world known as The Circle. This massive company is led by Eamon Bailey (Tom Hanks) who has turned his social media company into a tech giant that wants to make society better using micro cameras everywhere he calls SeeChange. While a bit unnerved at first, Mae becomes grateful for this technology after an experience she caused nearly takes her life, leading her to sign up for an experiment where her life is filmed all the time as a lesson to all in pure transparency. Without spoiling anything, what follows next is a sort of rise and fall of society and the company you’ll want to see for yourself.
Despite the scenes and ideas not congealing like they should, I still managed to find myself intrigued by the film, as it did remind me heavily of an extended episode of Black Mirror, especially with the tech and how it slowly changes people and those close to them. I just wished the movie came together better, as there’s a lot of little things throughout that are brought to light, but never explained or followed up on that are kind of frustrating after you’ve finished watching. At least everything looks and sounds good in high definition thanks to being on Blu-ray, and there’s a few special features for viewers to look at once you’ve been around the circle. “No More Secrets: Completing The Circle” is a four-part feature that goes into adapting Dave Eggers’ book for the big screen, “The Future Won’t Wait” focuses on the look and design of The Circle, and lastly “A True Original: Remembering Bill Paxton” is a nice tribute to one of Hollywood’s greats that passed away with this movie being one of his last.
Fans of Black Mirror or any kind of fall-of-society stuff will want to take a spin in The Circle, but just be prepared to be confused when interesting bits appear only to never be seen or heard of again. Despite these flaws, a great cast and intriguing plot are what really drive this movie just enough to circle around to the end.