Movies: The Circle

I can't offer a full critique because we turned this one off halfway through. It just wasn't interesting. It's a wonder they got such good actors to agree to it in the first place.

This extremely generic “thriller” is about a young woman named Mae (Emma Watson) who goes to work for The Circle, which is kind of like Google/Apple or something? Basically, it's a tech firm that has linked everyone's online profiles and social media into one big ball of . . . Online Identity, I guess. You can be completely monitored, from your emails and search history to the health bracelet you wear to all the tiny (surely illegal) cameras placed pretty much everywhere. (I mean, seriously. What if someone decided to stick one of those in a changing room or bathroom or locker room? You know it would happen.)

Politicians rally to squash The Circle, but the company in turn challenges those politicians to become "transparent" and thereby wholly accountable.

Meanwhile, The Circle also helps Mae's parents as her father suffers from MS.

The whole movie is a completely unsubtle commentary on the illusion of privacy in a technological world. With the help of Finn Ty (John Boyega), creator of some of the core tech The Circle employs, Mae eventually exposes the not-so-transparent actions of her very employers. Then goes on to happily lead a life of being watched and tracked, firm in the faith that this is a good thing. I only know this part from skimming the Wikipedia summary, which assured me that I didn't really miss much.

It's a shame, really, because it seems like this movie probably had a solid script at one point that got turned to mush via rewrites or too many notes or something. Like, it's meant to be a thriller but lacks any real tension or thrills. (The only semi-tense moment I witnessed was when the social duo came to set up Mae's account—how cultish and creepy was that?) Maybe the book was better? One can only hope so, and that everything good about the book was lost in translation.

No comments: