As far as I know, “The Circle,” based on Dave Eggers’ book, is one of the most anticipated films this spring. To be honest with you, I don’t know why exactly, but my guesses are it is about a social media company; it stars Emma Watson and Tom Hanks; screenplay writer/director James Ponsoldt, has made entertaining films, including “The Spectacular Now” and “The End of the Tour”; and this is Bill Paxton’s last film, following his recent death in February. Those are my best guesses.
“The Circle” has so many good ideas. It involves tiny cameras, which you can glue to walls, ceilings, or just about anywhere else; and they come in many colors in order to have them camouflaged. And another involves an idea called “SoulSearch,” in which many followers can help track even the most untraceable criminals in the world. Those ideas sound genius, but the movie ends up becoming an advertisement, instead of an actual story. And being that I can’t fully keep up with the world these days, I was asking: “Is this about invading privacy?” Apparently, it is. Because those cameras invade everyone’s privacy, and that’s the word they would like to get rid of.
Watson plays a young woman named Mae, who had a dead end job, until her Scottish, workaholic friend Annie (Karen Gillan) lands her a job interview at a tech company called “The Circle,” which is basically a security camera version of Google. Hanks runs the company, and he becomes impressed with her skills within the first few months. And when those cameras save her from a kayak accident, she becomes grateful to the cameras, and has almost the whole world following her.
“Almost,” because the snoopy company ends up affecting Mae’s family and friends. Her friend Mercer (Ellar Coltrane from “Boyhood”) makes antler chandeliers, and is accused of killing deer; her parents (Bill Paxton and Glenne Headly) are caught having sex; Annie ends up feeling depressed, and Mae’s would-be hunk (John Boyega from “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”) warns her the company is rigged. All these elements barely have anywhere to go, other than Mercer being killed by the SoulSearch idea.
The ideas I’ve mentioned could work maybe as other movie projects. But still, it was hard for me to get fully involved with the movie. It has too much social media for me to care about. I may use it to help promote this website and my reviews in general, but I can’t always use it to save my skin.