Movie Review: The Circle

22 May 2017 / 17:45 H.

THE problem with this movie is that it deviates somewhat from its source material, which is Dave Eggers’ book of the same title.
In doing so, it reduces its central character, Mae Holland, into a two-dimensional nit-wit.
The plot essentially revolves around Mae (Watson) who, in the beginning of the movie, is stuck in a deadend customer service job at the water works.
At home, she watches with dismay as the health of her father (played by the late Bill Paxton) slowly deteriorates due to multiple sclerosis. His medical insurance, however, does not cover the treatment he needs.
Out of the blue, her friend Annie (Gillan) gets her a job interview at The Circle, a social media company that is the most coveted place to work in.
Annie is a high-flying executive who helps Mae learn the ropes.
The company’s latest innovation is TruYou, a single-password solution for everything you do online.
Charismatic company CEO Eamon Bailey (Hanks) actually convinces his employees that privacy is bad and full-on transparency is good, arguing that it keeps those in power accountable and helps expose human rights violations.
Mae climbs up the ranks quickly due to a near-death incident.
With some emotional manipulations from Bailey, she ends up becoming a part of an experiment where she wears a tiny camera that broadcasts online everything she does (except when she is in the bathroom).
However, this comes at a high price when it leads to the death of an old friend.
John Boyega who has a tiny role as Ty Lafitte, one of the co-founders of The Circle, tries to warn Mae about the dangers of The Circle’s total disregard for privacy but he is ignored.
For something that is touted as a thriller, the movie moves at a very slow pace. It lacks impact and a sense of urgency which is what makes a thriller ticks.
The actors try to rise above the mediocre script (Eggers is actually a co-writer) but to no avail, and the ending is too neatly wrapped up.
Overall, it could have been better scripted.

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