Robbie K back, after being off the grid for a week. Tonight’s review is on the latest “dystopian” feature film called The Circle. Former Hermione Granger, and more recently Belle, Emma Watson leads the film as she attempts to take us into the workings of a technological conglomerate who has knowledge as its key principle. Yet the trailers paint a much darker secret hidden in its stony walls, one that promises to be a real nail biter. Will this movie deliver those thrills, or are we stuck with another wash out? I’ll do my best to answer that question, so sit back, and please read my latest thoughts.
- Nice tool development
- Emma Watson
- Culturally Relevant Film
- Solid Moral Lesson
Summary: We all know technology is becoming the heart of the world, if not already the heart of this country. And certainly, we all know that these technological marvels often require laborious development and maintenance to get the bugs out. The Circle portrays this very well, helping to develop the very tool that we all love. Throughout the journey, you’ll get to see the development of the two-faced beast that is technology, and how it requires tweaking to get just “right”. Not the highest selling point for a movie, but pretty cool.
Of course, we all know many are going to go for the lovely Ms. Watson, to support the super actress they adore. Good news, Watson does a solid job holding up most of the movie, as she is primary the only main character of the film. Watson brings her charm to the screen once more, portraying intelligence, fortitude and inspiration in a manner that many will latch on to. Her accent is pretty sound (though it fluctuates at times), but she manages to deliver her lines with a decent balance of emotion, to sell her points… most of the time.
Yet the biggest strength of these movies is how culturally relevant it is to the audience. If you didn’t gleam it from the trailers, The Circle is essentially a modernized version of the novel 1984 that once more addresses the issues of control, life sharing, and privacy. The film is certainly very political, but has a number of powerful lessons to teach about the place of technology and how easily it can be twisted. I myself liked the comments from Emma’s followers, a fantastic representation of the shallow, superficial, and often selfish focus that the internet provides. The scenes are well developed to deliver the full emotional punch, which while not the most unique, can really shock you to the core at how true it can be.
- Cheesy acting at times
- Other actors diluted
- Missed character development
- Ignorant/Idiotic moments
- Lack of Suspense
Summary: Despite Watson’s strong performance, she is involved in some overly cheesy moments. On many of the emotionally heated moments, she loses her balance and stretches into the overdramatic region, losing her accent and dialogue forte in the process. But even her worst acting doesn’t hold a candle to some of the supporting characters who give either emotionally dull deliveries or lackluster performances. These moments are noticeable enough to offset the momentum of the movie, and derailing it from the quality the trailers promised.
An even worse quality for me was how the other actors of the star-studded cast were reduced to simplistic roles. Legends like Tom Hanks, Patton Oswalt and even the late Bill Paxton are reduced to very linear roles, with little character development or expansion beyond what you’ve seen in the trailer. With such a strong cast, I can’t help but feel disappointed at the missed potential of this movie and how much this all-star cast could have done to amp up the quality of this movie.
Even worse, some of the characters, primarily Emma Watson’s character, become so blindly ignorant that the intelligence they worked so hard building is diluted to an idiotic level. As a result, I found myself starting to loathe the character and how 180 they took the character. Yes, I understand the premise behind the movie, but it didn’t work for me. Other characters also fell into this mix as well, each built to have this incredible skill that was either not used or rapidly reversed to make the characters seem weak.
Yet the most disappointing aspect of this movie…is the lack of suspense. The trailer made this film out to be a mystery meeting dystopian policing. Not the case at all. The Circle has no mystery, laying all the facts on the table and leaving little to be uncovered. You would think there would be intense moments of espionage, or policing by superiors to build up excitement, right? Sorry, this film doesn’t have that either, with the “exciting climax” not showing up until the last twenty minutes of the movie. As such, the movie is pretty dull and lacks the entertainment quality you might have been seeking.
The Circle is indeed a “scary” film, but it’s mainly due to the reality check provides concerning the dangers technology can provide. This strong message is certainly the strongest aspect of the movie and Emma Watson was a fantastic choice to deliver it. Unfortunately, the weak characters, diluted roles, and lack of suspense took away from the entertainment quality of the movie. Such a dull delivery, leaves me recommending this one for renting at home, or at least recommending you read the book (or books) it is based on.
My scores are:
Movie Overall: 5.0