The Circle ★★

Every single person in this movie could do better. Emma Watson, John Boyega, freaking Tom Hanks!, Karen Gillan...none of them seem to know what exactly is going on or how they're supposed to act in any given scene. And the plot is so nonsensical that it's laughable. Characters go through scenes that get progressively more contrived and awkward, only to do complete 180s for no apparent reason. Emma Watson's character's arc in particular made no goddamn sense to me and it became really frustrating for me to watch it.

This is all such a shame too because the story has some interesting ideas and presents some intriguing concepts that it just abandons a scene or two later. I haven't read the book, so I don't know the source material at all. However, the movie briefly touches on the idea that through "The Circle" (basically your online identity all in one space), the company in the movie could not only register its users to vote in elections, but can force them to vote in the hopes of creating "true democracy."

The movie doesn't run with this idea hardly at all, but living in a time where the Cambridge Analytica Facebook scandal is so recent, I would have LOVED to see that kind of storyline be explored more fully and to see a movie that depicts how it could be exploited and see the voter base be manipulated. But the movie does nothing with the material except have John Boyega tell Emma Watson point blank that privacy is a good thing.

Throughout the movie, I was remembering when Tiny brought The Circle up in the Potpourri section of an episode of our podcast. He mentioned that he had no idea what he was supposed to take from the ending and I completely agree with him. What the hell was that ending about?

Matt liked this review