A young woman, Mae (Emma Watson), gets a job in a major social media company, The Circle, who preaches the values of total transparency in society embraced by employees with a devotion similar to that of religious worship. It does not take long before Mae finds that both his company and his messianic founder, Eamon Bailey (Tom Hanks), actually have a hidden, dangerous, goal.
Emma Watson, Tom Hanks and John Boyega starred in a cute and exuberant thriller at the same time. A film that tackles the theme of identity, property, self, and the way we become big data, but in a very poor way that does nothing to James Ponsoldt (the director of the film).
The film is a screening of a book written by Dave Eggers titled "The Circle". A book that deepens the approach of contemporary society in a rather philosophical manner. A technology alienated society that allows a small number of people to know everything. In fact, a key to better understanding both the film and the book lies in "Knowing is good. Knowing everything is better ".
The plot of the film
Mae's life changes when a friend (who happens to be in the "The group of 40", a kind of board of directors) of hers proposes to come to an interview for The Circle , a kind of mega company that lives the most beautiful dreams of Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook) and Sundar Pichai (Google) combined. When she arrives at The Circle, Dream Friday takes place, a weekly meeting every Friday, where Eamon Bailey (Tom Hanks) presents the latest technology. It is also the first step to introducing the questions raised by the fact that The Circle begins to mass-produced a camcorder that can be placed on any surface, almost invisible, and that can shoot at an incredibly high quality .
Throughout the movie, the technology that allows the company to get information about you gets more and more visible: chips inserting into newborn bones to 99% drop the chance of kidnapping or a fluid you ingest and stay in your body to keep your health data continually. Politics is also present in the film, but in two sequences: a senator who opposes this company and who gets to be investigated by the FBI and another who wants to be totally transparent so that all her emails, telephones, messages are made public.
After almost dying drowned and saved by the technology of The Circle, Mae is recruited by Eamon Bailey and his colleague to become the new ambassador of the company by doing ... daily vlogging about her life. From this moment on, Mae is a superstar inside the company but also for outsiders. It is enough to be invited to the discussions of directors and to propose new forms of technology and directions that the company can create.
The most tense moment is when The Circle created an application that allows users to discover anyone, anywhere in the world, anytime. Through a series of pressures on Mae, she gets to look for her buddy, whom she's gone, and who gets to die after being watched as a fugitive by Mae's men.
The film ends abruptly, with Mae delving into the world that those who run The Circle were making illegalities, and she is coming out on a light door followed by other people.
Actors, storylines, music, movie ideas
The film debates the idea of Big Brother evolved into the Big Digital Brother. Conspiracy theories, subtle corporal attacks and technology addiction combined with the extinction of personality cult on social media. I like that wants to raise some pretty good ideas, such as the right to private life or what does today's trust mean, but goes too far in an area where he loses sight of any form of dialogue and just gets to blame the idea of technology and even accuses her of killing. The best example is that one of the secondary characters, Mercer, a childhood boyfriend with Mae, who falls in love with her, is victimized by the director, and all those who use technology are the guilty, to end up dying due to technology.
The director jumps from one sequence to another without letting you breathe or better understand the characters. Who are they and why they do that. Each more important sequence is predictable because it relies on stereotypes, unfortunately, and makes the film easy, easy, boring as early as half.
Like many others in front of him, the director appeals to some big names but who, as he tries, can not get the movie out of the bad review. The best example is the role of John Boyega. A name that became known after it appeared in Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens, but in this film is at most an object of decoration in the second half of the film. If in the first half he had two sequences with a dialogue that seemed to be taken from Mirc in the 2000s, but at least he spoke words, the second half caught him only ... moving in the chair. And walking on the stairs. Literally, just that does. I still wonder what his role in the movie is, except for the marketing for the kids who say, "Let's go play Star Wars and Hermione." When it comes to Emma Watson and Tom Hanks, they have more prominent roles, but the dialogue itself is weak. Starting from new concepts of what truth, trust, lie, the narrative seemed to bring Orwell's "1984", where reinterpreting the concepts, but lamentsable and, at times, very awkward Which makes me think that the director did not really understand the book he chose to screen.
The whole movie ‘’left me cold’’ enough after I saw it. Especially because he reminded me very much of "In Time". A film with a unique and brilliant idea, executed bold. "The Circle" is a poor film, unfortunately, on all levels, especially music, and the end takes you to the Kafka "Process", but what Ponsoldt did not understand is that if you do not really master a certain philosophy you want to convey it, you lose the essence of things. I did not expect to be a film to compete with Tarkovsky's "STALKER" as the most artistic film in the history of cinematography, neither Kubrick's performance nor a fiasco of ideas thrown in the hopes of something good will come out.
I had big expectations when I saw the trailer. I expected some approaches as I saw in "The Sunset Limited" or "Dogtooth". Movies that put pressure on you by forcing you to ask questions about certain certainties you have. It forces you to introspection by being able to see another vision. I would have liked to see a movie at least "The Perks of Being a Wallflower," where Emma Watson played exceptionally, and the movie raises your hair almost entirely to the end of the movie. "Her" is a film that thoroughly debates the idea of artificial intelligence and virtual addiction. "The Circle" is lost in consumerism, which has already become classic, and the rush of affirmation / money that, together, destroys movies no matter how good the idea behind it is.
The director wanted to inspect her dependence on information and her dangers. He wanted to present an informational dystopia in the computer age, but the chosen theme was too cumbersome for him to exemplify him as he might have wanted. He could consider the freedom of decision, which is also an important component of what people do to us, to question hypocrisy and the truth, to raise some questions about how perverted they are people according to the information they have. There are still notions of happiness and authenticity when everyone looks at you in real time - do you exist as a person, or do you exist as what they want to be? I wish I could see a lot more from the movie. Unfortunately, it did not happen.
"The Circle" is a paranoid movie, if I were to summarize it in one word. The movie still tries to open some discussion themes make an open end that is open is just the moment when you cry a little after the money you put on the film. The movie wants to warn us that we are living in a society that is quite lost in a virtual world, but when it comes out of the cinema it only fails to think of you: "Did I close the window when I left home?"