Movie Review: The Circle

Movie Review: The Circle

My first review ever on this blog will be about a movie I didn’t even finish watching. I made it to approximately minute sixty-something before I called it quits and literally walked away. For me to give in on a movie already half way trough … let’s just say, it takes a lot. It’s frankly not something I do. If I am not into a movie right from the start, I simply stop watching it. Five to ten minutes into the plot and I know that it’s not what I want to spent the next ninety+ minutes of my life with.

With The Circle, it took me longer, maybe even too long. The reason for this delayed surrender was the simple thought of “It’s an adaption! It’s Emma Watson (Hermione!) and Tom Hanks (Run Forrest Run!) it can’t be that bad. It will get better! Have faith!”. Well, obviously faith tricked me into … I wouldn’t call it wasting, but if the shoe fits …. so, yes, it actually felt like faith tricked me into wasting sixty-something precious minutes of my life to watch half a movie I only could shake my head about.

I mean, when you read the summary of the movie plot

“A woman lands a dream job at a powerful tech company called the Circle, only to uncover an agenda that will affect the lives of all of humanity.”

and you watch the official trailer, and it makes you think: doesn’t sound too bad, does it?

Your friend google tells you, that it’s the book adaption of a best-selling! novel and there is this feeling you have deep down in your gut, that the topic thematised in this movie, namely the fact that with all the technological progress, the steady rise of social media platforms and the ubiquitous pressure of being visible to nearly everyone in nearly every situation thinkable and unthinkable; 24/7, 365 days of the year, from now on until the day you die or the day they invent something like an after-world-wide-web with after-twitter or insta-after-gram or however you want to call it,  that this movie should/would/could result in something amazing, inspiring and somehow shoking because of the truth behind it all.

But instead you get sixty-something minutes about a girl called Mae (Emma Watson) with a seemingly ill father, working for a tech company similar to a sect led by a man called Bailey (Tom Hanks), playing big brother the “big” way with only three minutes non-camera action for a toilet break, after a near death experience with a kajak and losing in the whole process of being 100% visible – no matter the consequences – not only her privacy but also her friends.

Doesn’t sound too bad, does it? But what you don’t know is that I suffered through sixty-something minutes of – let’s call it “big brother propaganda” and the strange feeling that I was watching a propaganda video for the next sect summer camp, where everyone is carrying around tiny cameras on their bodies filming every boring and not so boring bit of their lives incl. parent-sex nobody wants to see.

Frankly, it was a nice try and it’s an important topic we all should be aware of and we all should think maybe a little bit more about. Especially about how much of our privacy we actually want to sacrifice for our online presence. I mean, how many of you ever ask themselves: “Did I just give too much information? Do they know too much about me? Is this too private? Do I really need to post a half naked picture of my body? Should I really tag my location?” Not enough, I bet. I’m honest, I never really gave it a thought, because using Instagram – after so many years – comes naturally to me. I don’t even think about it that much anymore. I take pictures and I post them. Simple as that. And I for sure, don’t do it for the likes, because let’s be honest, there are way better, cooler, fancier, more influential and blogger-isher Instagram pages out there than mine.

To sume it all up: The Circle is a movie not at all meeting my expectations, with flat dialogues, unnecessary backround stories, a credulous main character played by an okay Emma Watson, a theme not well played, but there is at least a winsome Tom Hanks as “sect” leader with some charming jokes to loosen the mood.

And in addition to the words on the movie poster

Knowing is good.
Knowing everything is better.

Knowing what I know now, I wouldn’t even have started watching it.