review Bobby Blakey
I love a good thriller and really like ones that take on the current climate of things going on whether it be that of society or technology. Sadly not all are able to hit the mark, but every so often one comes along and will surprise you. The latest, The Circle based on the best-selling novel from Dave Eggers and features a great cast including Emma Watson, Tom Hanks, Patton Oswald, John Boyega and the late great Bill Paxton, but does it have the intrigue necessary to make this story upload with success or will it get lost in the program?
The Circle follows Mae, a young woman who rises through the ranks of the world’s largest tech and social media company, The Circle, and is encouraged by company founder Eamon Bailey to live her life with complete transparency. But no one is really safe when everyone is watching. This is one of those films that seemed to get very little push despite the great cast, but its focus being a subject that is front in center in today’s society should have made for a pretty intense thriller. As whole this film does offer some engaging moments and will open your eyes to some aspects of the breach of privacy and the obsession of social media, but it sadly fumbled a bit throughout. The first half of the film is a bit clunky as it tries to set the tone of who Emma Watson’s character is with the only real shining light outside of Watson being Bill Paxton as her father who is suffering from MS. Once it gets past all this build up and gets inside the world of the circle then the film gets a lot better.
There is a lack of mystery here as you already know that something is going to be up if you have half a brain so even the good stuff from here to the ending of the film is still not as impactful as it could have been. Once again the only overly impactful sequences involve Paxton whose performance is as great as ever despite being pretty small, but made all the more impactful seeing him in this state and knowing he has already passed on. I know he did not die due to this disease it was just a harsh unintentionally reminder of him being gone. Hanks is excellent as always in this Steve Jobs type role who you are just waiting to see what lurks behind the shadows of the perfection of his world inside the Circle, but sadly it never fully comes.
I did in fact enjoy the film as a whole for what they were doing and the direction a lot of it went, but the ending really left it flat. There are so many moments where they seem to be building towards especially with John Boyega’s character, but all felt underwhelming in the end. There is a great set up and start to offer up the kind of twist you expect in a film like this, but instead it just seems to end and never gives you that exciting moment. It’s a great concept with a great cast with a finished product that missed the greatness that it could have been, but still works on some level.
In addition to the film this release includes featurettes that take you further behind the world of the Circle. Grab your copy of The Circle available now on Digital HD and then on Blu-ray and DVD on August 1st from Lionsgate Home Entertainment.