The Circle - it's game over man, game over!
Welcome to the Apple, Facebook, Google mash-up movie!
So, at the outset and in the interest of full disclosure, I am an employee of Google - so there, I have some experience of The Circle and some of its premises. Update - I am no longer an employee of Google
The plot: when Mae (Emma Watson) is hired to work for the world's largest and most powerful tech and social media company, - the titular Circle. She sees it as an opportunity of a lifetime. As she rises through the ranks, she is encouraged by the company's founder, Eamon Bailey (Tom Hanks), to engage in a groundbreaking experiment that pushes the boundaries of privacy, ethics and ultimately her personal freedom. Her participation in the experiment, and every decision she makes begin to affect the lives and future of her friends, family and that of humanity. One of The Circle's other founders, Ty (John Boyega) is unhappy with the direction the company is taking and ropes in Mae to help expose the shenanigans.
Director James Ponsoldt co-wrote the screenplay with Dave Eggers. The film is being marketed as a thriller. Em, it's not. This is the least suspenseful thriller since thrillers were first made. The Circle is marketed as keeping you on the edge of your seat. Well, it doesn't.
Emma Watson brings youthful energy to her performance but even she doesn't break a suspenseful sweat. For the first time ever, Tom Hanks is pretty poor in a movie, just short of dialling in his performance. John Boyega is disappointing. This is Tom Hanks second time filming a Dave Eggers screenplay; last year's disappointing A Hologram for the King.
Of note, among the cast is the late Bill Paxton. He plays Mae's father who suffers from MS. It is his last big screen outing and it's a shame that this is it. Kindly, the film is dedicated to him.
As far as this film is concerned; to borrow a quote from the late Bill...
"It's game over man, game over!