The Circle is an attempt to intellectualise the dialogue about the consequences of progressive social networking, but somehow winds up lacking any figment of that intellect. Buried in this movie are many fascinating ideas, which in all fairness, the filmmakers try to capitalise on, but in vain.
The premise is contextualised on the conflict between privacy and transparency, but our protagonist is constantly so ambiguous in her stance, that the big picture conversation leads to nowhere. The Circle is paradoxically caught in that viscous cycle of resolving privacy issues with transparency and then vice versa. Even if you convince me that this irony is intentional, I will remain unimpressed, for this movie could have been lovely.
Emma Watson is wonderful in her role, but it’s her character that’s all over the place. Tom Hanks is written in as an antagonist, but that surges somewhere in the third act albeit very mildly. His character had the complexity and mystery to why he was the way he was, but it’s only towards the end you realise that he’s just written into the movie to be the villain to Watson’s heroics.
This movie has some lovely cinematography and relevant scoring. But the writing falls short by miles. To some credit, Watson’s character exposition is outlaid fairly, but I don’t get any other character. In fact the prime plot of the film is still equivocal. John Boyega is criminally wasted, and Karen Gillan and Patton Oswalt suffer with weak characters.
I don’t know if this movie was meant to be a The Truman Show meets The Social Network, but even if it wasn’t, it simply suffers from underdeveloped characters thrown into a story line that fails to amalgamate it’s intriguing narrative and fascinating ideas. All in all, this movie could’ve been saved by a good denouement, but unfortunately for us, it barely even has one.