Several weeks ago my husband and I went to see “The Circle” with some friends.
There were three reasons I wanted to see the film. The first was Emma Watson. The Second was Tom Hanks. The third is that I love anything that is dystopian in nature.
The concept of the movie was excellent. However, the execution was only so-so. I like how the story takes the world we are in now; one in which so many of us willingly put giant chunks of our lives on social media and takes it to the next step. What happens when posting on social media goes from being voluntary to being mandatory? What happens when accountability and safety take priority over privacy? What happens when you give a company complete access to your life? I think that these are all important questions to ask. I also can see a future similar to the on depicted in “The Circle”.
The fact that one of the people in our group said that that The Circle wasn’t that bad really speaks to how likely we all are to end up in a world like the one depicted in the movie. In many ways “The Circle” is like a modern 1984. A world in which we all give away our privacy very willingly and a world where those that think for themselves and try to maintain a life outside of the surveillance are the ones who are deemed crazy and/or disturbed.
The problem is that there is a little bit too much that is implied about how The Circle is harmful and not enough that shows outright how dangerous the access granted by The Circle would actually be. I am all in favor of things not needing to be completely spelled out but I feel like the film doesn’t go far enough. All the pieces are in place for The Circle to be truly awful but the film doesn’t play those cards. The film also feels a little confused at the end. The resolution is very rushed and then the last scene seems to negate what the big climatic scene was supposed to do. Not to mention some of the ideas in this film have been seen before, especially in the movies “The Truman Show” and “Ed TV” (of course looking back now it’s amazing to see just how ahead of their time those two movies were).
I love Emma Watson but In her post Harry Potter career I’m starting to find that she’s a little bit difficult to cast. I thought she was amazing in 2012’s “The Perks of Being a Wallflower”. However, I thought she was a bit stiff in the first act of this year’s remake of “Beauty and the Beast” and here I think she is a bit miscast. She certainly is age appropriate but beyond that I felt like she never fully got into the character.
I was intrigued to see Tom Hanks in a supporting role with a character that isn’t a hero type. 2002’s “Catch Me if You Can” was the last time I remember Tom Hanks not having top billing and I can’t ever remember a movie where a woman got top billing over him, so that is kind of cool.
Like recent Tom Hanks performances it’s fine but nowhere near the what he did earlier in his career.
So while I liked the concept of “The Circle” I can’t really recommend it unless you are really into dystopian stuff or you have to see anything and everything with either Emma Watson or Tom Hanks.
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Here is a description:
Justin Gomez and his sister, Terri, have never been close. Separated by nine years and distant in adulthood, Justin and Terri have little in common, except for the love of her three children. In the days before they embark on a road trip to visit the father that once abandoned them and their now deceased mother, both Terri and Justin are dealing with unexpected changes in their lives. Justin surprisingly realizes he might want more than a series of one night stands after a first date goes unexpectedly well. After a lifetime of being a strong type A personality, Terri is forced to confront the reality of the end of her marriage. As they hit the road, with Terri’s children in tow, they find themselves forced to rely on and confide in each other following a devastating event. Confronted with memories from the past and challenges from the present, Terri and Justin must dig deep and unearth the truth about themselves and their parents in order to build a new family based on their love for each other.