Initial reaction: It’s basically the book, but less detail.
- Main Production Company: Imagenation Abu Dhabi FZ
- Director: James Ponsoldt
- Writers: James Ponsoldt, Dave Eggers
- Key Actors/Actresses: Emma Watson, Tom Hanks, and John Boyega
- Stand-out Performances: Tom Hanks
This is one of the only films I’ve watched AFTER reading the original source material. For those of you like me who read the book first, you’re in for a movie that is very similar in plot and theme, though the film cuts a few of the surprises that the text fleshes out. In short, it’s a watered down version of the source material, as many film adaptations are.
For those of you who haven’t read the book, I recommend you see this film at least once, if only to ponder the questions it brings to the table. Set in the near future, the main character, Mae (Emma Watson), lands a job at a familiar, yet fictional, social media company called the Circle. The site challenges how its users digest and interact with the world around them, using mediums already available to us viewers in the real world, or those that are seemingly just around the corner. The biggest questions novelist and co-screen writer Dave Eggers poses are queries about the meaning and purpose of privacy, the power of information and knowledge, and the future of democracy.
As the story’s themes are mind-blowing, so are its characters. They are not the most likable people, but it is easy to see why they make the decisions they do. Mae, for instance, is sympathetic, even though her path takes an increasingly darker turn as her knowledge about the Circle increases over time. The stand-out performance comes unquestionably from Tom Hanks, who plays the Circle’s idea-man Eamon Bailey. At one moment, he acts as a surrogate father to Mae, and at another, he is a plotting, manipulative demagogue, and Hanks, true to form, gives a splendid portrayal.
All in all, watch this film for its relevance to our world’s current generations who increasingly redefine what it means to “connect” with another human being.
The Ruling: Watch it once.
Featured Image courtesy of Google Images.