The Circle is not the box office hit that it should have been. It stars a mixture of big names both young and old and is an obvious social commentary on privacy in the digital age. Netflix, who has been pumping out hit after hit, thought this one would be big enough to have success in theaters. Instead, this film became a testament to the fact that there is still a little discerning taste left in public opinion. The Circle could have been amazing except for these five points that held it back.
Misuse of Star Power
On its face, there is no way that this movie could be bad just based on the star power. They tapped veterans, Tom Hanks and Patton Oswalt, to play prominent supporting cast members and young star Emma Watson to play the main character. By far, the most underutilized actor is John Boyega who is still riding high on his star turn in Star Wars Episode VII. None of these actors were given the time or the material to allow their talents to shine through which left all of them looking less talented than they are.
By far, the biggest problem with this movie is that they rushed the story way too fast. The story of The Circle would have been better off told as a TV series or at least a mini-series, so it had more of a chance to flesh out the story its characters. Instead, a pivotal scene in the film, which changes the direction the narrative is moving, is underwhelming to say the least. I think that it is at that scene in particular that you realize the faults in the film.
This is an opinion more than anything, but I think the movie is a tad too satirical. It is no secret that “The Circle” is a Facebook-like company, but they push the idea of Facebook’s privacy issues way too far. The movie makes The Circle seem like a governing body itself which makes the whole thing less realistic in my view.
Unneeded Plot Points
In a film that already had so much going on, filmmakers felt the need to keep adding layers to the story which took away from the overarching theme. I am usually all for the world being explored, but for this particular movie, they should have stayed focused on the main point to offer the viewer as much information as possible on the inner workings of The Circle.
Lack of Closure
The “climax” of the film comes out of nowhere and feels really lazy. It is almost as if someone forgot to write an ending to the movie and they quickly tacked one on the end. A lack of closure is just one more aspect that really hurts the overall feel of a film that had so much potential.
Previews for The Circle had my interest piqued. It should have been a biting social commentary with elements of 1984 in the modern age. Instead, it was a movie to sell tickets using the faces of Tom Hanks and Emma Watson. I really wish this film was better, but I do not recommend it to anyone.
The Circle characters and cast include:
Mae – Emma Watson (The Colony, Beauty and the Beast, The Bling Ring, My Week with Marilyn, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Noah, Regression, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban)
Mercer – Ellar Coltrane (Barry, Boyhood, Dog Years)
Bonnie – Glenne Headly (Don Jon, The Night Of, Strange Weather)
Vinnie – Bill Paxton (Aliens, Big Love, Texas Rising, Nightcrawlers, Edge of Tomorrow, The Colony, A Simple Plan)
Annie – Karen Gillan (Oculus, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, The Big Short, Doctor Who)
Bailey – Tom Hanks (The Da Vinci Code, Saving Private Ryan, Sully, Bridge of Spies, Cloud Atlas, Charlie Wilson’s War, Captain Phillips, Saving Mr. Banks)
Ty – John Boyega (Imperial Dreams, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Watership Down, Detroit)
Stenton – Patton Oswalt (Magnolia, Parks and Recreation, BoJack Horseman, Veep, Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Return, Agents of SHIELD, Justified, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Odd Thomas)
Matt – Amir Talai (Bosch, The Pursuit of Happyness, What to Expect When You’re Expecting)