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The Circle, unlike the award-winning novel by Dave Eggers, fails to bring a compelling narrative right from the opening scene to the ending credits. Starring Emma Watson, recently known for her role as Belle in Disney’s Beauty and The Beast, The Circle plays out in an undramatic, anti-climactic bore fest; which, unfortunately does not bode well for those who read the book after they see the movie.
According to a Harris Poll, one of the longest-running surveys in public opinion, taken in 2014, 57% of Americans would rather stay in verses going out to the movie theater, this movie is no exception. The story surrounds our protagonist Mae Holland (Emma Watson), who is, by every definition, searching for herself. After graduating college, she is working in an impasse job and unable to care for her parents. Receiving a phone call from her good friend Annie, played by Karen Gillan, who has pulled some strings and got Mae an interview at “The Circle”.
We learn that “The Circle” is a conduit for all things social media, i.e., Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc., as well as email, banking and so much more. Called TruYu, it is the entity that brings the idea of only having one password for everything absolute. After landing her dream job at “The Circle”in customer experience, Holland becomes a force not to be reckoned with through her tenacity and work ethic. She shines in the eyes of the Eamon Bailey, played by Oscar winning actor, Tom Hanks. Bailey is by all means the lion in sheep’s clothing and Hanks does an exceptional job portraying the villain. Holland, as she is taken under Bailey’s wing, starts a technological love affair in the art of knowing.
“Knowing is good. But knowing everything is better,” said Bailey to an Apple-esque event showcasing a new product called SeeChange, a small camera that can be placed in the most conspicuous places streaming live so that one can see any location at any time. It also allows anyone to go transparent, meaning that one constantly has a SeeChange camera on twenty-four-seven; which means, everyone can see what they see in full fluidity. Dave Eggers published The Circle in 2013, and it became an instant hit. Many critics comparing it to Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World and George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four. But for the twenty-first century where technology is growing at a more rapid pace than global warming, the movie does not do the book any justice. It is ironic since Dave Eggers helped write the screenplay with James Ponsoldt, director of The End of the Tour and The Spectacular Now, but a plethora of reasons made the movie fall flat.
There are too few characters and there is no depth along with the acting being some of the worst I have seen in a while. The question that comes into play during the movie and the book is this: Is there every too much privacy one can have? And at what cost? Living in a world of accelerated technology privacy is of the utmost consideration when carrying around a smart-phone and logging onto social media.
The book is a tour de force, but the movie is not worth the pieces of popcorn spilled on the sticky floor of a movie theater