“The Circle” is actually a sphere that looks like a marble, and is a micro camera, something like Google glasses. In this satire, directed by James Ponsoldt and based on the novel by Dave Eggers, the plan is to get everyone the planet to wear one and be continuously logged on to this new super reinvention of Facebook. The color is red, rather than blue, so it is less inviting to color-blind people, for starters.
Emma Watson plays Mae, a bill collector (it seems like everybody works in collections these days as movies begin) who gets invited to join this new Silicon Valley company. She already has a good life kayaking and with a humble blue-collar boyfriend Mercer (Ellar Coltrane, whose recreation of his Mason persona from Boyhood is a little forced). But her dad has multiple sclerosis and Mae (unlike me) has gone to the effort to get her parents to have some competence with tech.
Pretty soon she buys into the sinister aims of the company guru Â Bailey (Tom Hanks) and COO (Patton Oswalt) to rule the world. Beyond super Amway attitudes, they goad all their employees into sharing everything all the time. They want use The Circle to register voters and run elections, and to make every email everyone has ever sent transparent to the whole world. I kept wondering how long before the 2016 election was this written, as the references to Hillary Clinton’s email scandal are pretty transparent.
They have a slogan, secrets are lies, and want to destroy all privacy completely. In fact, they see all of humanity as one group mind, so you wonder if the film is a metaphor for distributed consciousness, dolphin style.
But you can also take the film as asking, whether all human activity ought to become eventually public and knowable by others, who may want to “connect the dots” the way I do.
Mercer wants to stay out of this, but is dragged in with tragic results.Â Maybe he needs resurrection.
There is an odd scene early in the film were Mae is given a medical physical, and told to drink a prep (rather like for a catscan) containing nanobots, which communicate to her Fitbit watch (they also put electrodes on her upper chest. I wondered if employees were Holter monitors all the time.)
There was sci-fi movie with the title Circle reviewed here June 6.
|Director, writer:||James Ponsoldt, Dave Eggers|
|When and how viewed:||2017/4/29 Angelika Mosaic fair crowd|
|Companies:||STX Entertainment, Europa (some financing from|
(Posted: Saturday, April 29 at 11:30 PM EDT)