“The Circle” stars Emma Watson, Tom Hanks, John Boyega, Karen Gillan, Patton Oswalt, and Bill Paxton. Released on April 28, 2017, the film is about a tech worker who finds herself in a difficult situation involving a powerful Internet corporation.
The film is directed by James Ponsoldt, who also directed films such as The Spectacular Now and The End of the Tour. It is based on the 2013 novel of the same name by Dave Eggers. After starring in the live-action remake of one of Disney’s most beloved animated classics, Emma Watson is now taking on a social media corporation run by none other than the great Tom Hanks himself. I honestly thought that this is going to be a straight-up thriller about a corporation with some deadly secrets based on the marketing alone. In reality, however, it’s more along the lines of a dialogue-driven drama about the pros and cons of social media and the technology that was used to make it better. Before I saw it for myself, there have been a lot of surprisingly bad reviews from critics and from most moviegoers. Based on the reception alone, you’re probably thinking that I would dislike it as well. Well, you thought wrong. I didn’t think it was that bad.
The film offered a great cast that consists of the wonderful Watson as Mae Holland, the entertaining, yet underused, Tom Hanks as Eamon Bailey, and the late Bill Paxton as Mae’s father. Even though the film fell a bit short with its expectations, it’s pretty hard to ignore the talents of these remarkable actors. The only cast member that I thought could’ve been better was Ellar Coltrane as Mercer, Mae’s ex-boyfriend, mostly because of his wooden dialogue. Like I said before, the film focuses on the uses of social media and how it affects other people either in a good way or a bad way. Something that is completely relatable to how we use it in today’s day and age. The way this film depicts this concept is something that should be worth thinking about for those who are new to social media. I think if the story and the character depth would have gone off in a stronger direction, it would have left a more powerful impact to the film’s social theme. There were also some scenes where the pacing could be an issue for some people who aren’t used to slow-moving films.
Overall, “The Circle” has a few flaws that may leave fans of the novel unsatisfied, but it manages to improve on itself a bit thanks to its talented cast and its near-perfect depiction of the pros and cons of social media. I can understand that it’s not a spectacular film like Ponsoldt’s other projects, but I don’t think the amount of hate that this film is getting is necessary, especially since it showcases what social media can do to people. But that’s just me. It’s not something that you should rush out to see in the theater, but if you like the film’s cast, then I would say it’s worth watching at home.