The Circle Review

May 5, 2017

The abhorrent atrocity known as the “The Circle” recently came to theatres last weekend.  Although the novel had a special charm to it, giving a more modern and reasonable dystopian forecast than more outlandish settings as depicted in many classic dystopian novels such as “1984” or “Fahrenheit 451”, the movie for the “The Circle” was merely a blight on the source work.

“The Circle”, not to be confused with the much more engaging “Circle” (2015), is a hypothetical account of a silicon valley mega-corporation’s destruction of personal privacy.  Emma Watson plays Mae Holland as the leading protagonist, along with supporting actors Ellar Coltrane and Karen Gillan playing as Mercer and Annie Allerton, respectively.

One of the warning signs for the poor quality of the film I was about to watch was the amount of people in the theater. Although it was a Saturday night on the opening weekend, there were probably about five other groups of people at the theater, filling up about a total of twenty seats.

“The Circle”, of course, didn’t do everything terribly, as it handled exposition quite well; it didn’t assume people had prior knowledge of the source material, but it didn’t treat the audience like they were stupid either. However, that’s about the only good thing to be said about this movie.

Consider the pacing, for instance.  Some people might enjoy the faster pacing of the film; perhaps people with short attention spans, that is.  Everything was occurring at once in this film; it gave almost no time for the viewer to catch a breather, and it seems like the director was attempting to squeeze as many events from the book as they possibly could into 110 minutes (which they weren’t able to, obviously, but that doesn’t reflect on the film’s quality).

The acting was overall mediocre throughout the movie, and at some points it was extremely irksome and forced. It becomes clear in this film that Emma Watson certainly has little to no talent, and that the only reason Ellar Coltrane did so well in the 2014 film “Boyhood” was because he was simply tailored to the role. Most of the supporting cast wasn’t good, either.

Although I personally identify with the message of the film, it did come off as rather preachy. The book was quite preachy as well, but it took the ideas much further, and was much more harsh in its treatment of the characters.

Simply, the film was preachy, but it didn’t take its message to the extent the book did, and even left some workaround in the end of the film for those disagreeing with the message to do some mental gymnastics out of it.  

Because of the poor implementation of many of the basic aspects of filmmaking, the film was laughable in places it shouldn’t have been. To be fair, this is similar to many other dystopian works of a similar nature, such as the “Hunger Games” films, or other modern dystopian book adaptations. However, the source work was slightly more “highbrow” than these young adult fiction pieces of shlock, so that isn’t an adequate excuse.

Avoid this film at all costs, unless you were really vested in the book and are interested in a film adaptation.  This film gets a 2/10.  

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