Movie Review: The Circle (2017)
After several days of the Florida Film Festival, there was a need to see a more mainstream film. The Circle is an entertaining film that is marketed as a thriller. However, it’s more of a commentary on technology and privacy and the way big corporations are running things behinds the scenes. The film features a great cast and an interesting story, but misses in a few areas.
The Circle is entertaining and thought provoking
Mae (Emma Watson) is struggling to get by until her friend Annie (Karen Gillan) gets her an interview for The Circle. She soon finds that this job is the best thing that’s ever happened to her, but after a bad choice decides to be a guinea pig for transparency. It’s then that things escalate and the story takes a new form from what was shown in the trailer.
Emma Watson and Karen Gillan are both fantastic in this movie. Bill Paxton disappears into his role as Mae’s father. Tom Hanks is charming as always even when playing the leader of a corporation that seeks information. John Boyega is great, but severely underused. Then the oddest casting was Patton Oswalt as the partner to Tom Hanks. He’s a solid actor, but the role he was meant to play felt out of place with his usual persona.
The film features a lot of Orwellian, 1984 type themes that feel particularly relevant with the current technological climate. A new product that The Circle creates is called the SeeChange and is a small camera that can be put anywhere and stream high quality video. This allows the world to see almost anything and everything going on in the world. It introduces several other elements of the film, but all deal with the idea of secrets, knowledge, and privacy.
Overall, The Circle was an entertaining film that definitely fits into Blake Snyder’s Institutionalized archetype nicely. There were moments that seemed insane to think Mae would go along with it, but it was made to be very believable as a concept. Watching people be indoctrinated in a film can be quite creepy. Plus, in a world where people are siding with concepts that seem inherently bad, felt very feasible. The Circle earns the Decent Watch Rating.