The Circle, written and directed by James Ponsoldt, delivers a half-baked warning about social media and technology – making for a tedious and uneventful watch.
After watching the trailer , I expected something that (basically promised) to be a clear, concise criticism on how we conduct ourselves and the moral obligations that come with technology.
Akin to a social media scroll-sesh, I emerged 2 hours later with a bad mood and a crushing sense of “unfulfilled potential”.
It also boasted to star Tom Hanks.
He does appear. Not frequently enough.
Creating an Emma Watson endurance test – one that I nearly didn’t pass.
Circle follows the story of Mae (Watson) as she lands her dream job at a trendy social media and tech company, founded by Eamon Bailey (Hanks).
At first she is dealing with IM (instant messenger) tech-support and customer service, and her responses are scored out of 100.
Her determination to settle into her new role means that she neglects to update her ‘Circle Profile’.
Two very perky and extremely annoying co-workers demonstrate the benefits of being connected into the work environment socially, as all staff live on-site.
Mirroring a pressure that most of us feel with social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.
Mae eventually gets sucked in to the work ethos, but she discovers a hidden agenda that is set to threaten the whole of humanity – thanks to a mysterious ‘off-the-grid’ hooded student.
The intentions to expose the damaging effects of rapidly advancing technology and an increased pressure to use social media is clear.
The implications of abusing power and being truly ‘connected’ are merely ruffled, and not addressed.
Watson’s wooden acting skills are in full effect, making this film was difficult to watch.
Alongside the lack of acting talent, there was also no solid story and no sympathetic characters to latch onto.
The mysterious hooded student sub-plot (the only sub-plot that held my interest, aside from her disabled fathers fellatio) regrettably does not form.
The only reason I entertained this film was the mention of Hanks – and he is undoubtedly wasted on a bit-part.
The hidden agenda is not as dark as one would expect, and while the moral implications are clear, the message is blurred and skewed until it becomes a poor example of a tech/drama/thriller.
While the trailer promises to pack a punch, the movie falls short of its capabilities.
This half-baked tech thriller definitely needed more time in the oven.