Based on a 2013 novel of the same name, The Circle, starring Emma Watson and Tom Hanks, feels like the perfect example of how an amazing cast can be dragged down by terrible writing.
The movie follows Mae (Emma Watson), a bored twentysomething who Eamon Bailey (Tom Hanks), the co-founder of a powerful internet company called The Circle, takes a shine to. Eamon persuades Mae to take part in an experiment that opens up her private life to the public, which seems to transform her life for the better – until it doesn’t.
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If all you’re after in this film is to watch Emma Watson and Tom Hanks busting their acting chops, then this film is well worth watching. Tom Hank’s Steve Jobs-esque Eamon is charismatic, and Emma Watson’s Mae is a perfect everywoman.
There isn’t much character development for characters outside of the two leads. Even after Mae gets into The Circle, we don’t get much more information on who Annie (her best friend, and a management-type person within The Circle) is, and why she’s so important. What’s even more nonsensical is that Annie, who was originally a true believer in The Circle’s cause, falls apart after Mae agrees to the social experiment. There’s no explanation for why such a strong character goes insane within the space of a day.
If you’re after a compelling, thought-provoking story, then skip this. There’s no clear message to take away from this film – not even something pat about how our reliance on technology is destroying us, or saving us, or both – and you may well end up leaving the cinema more confused about the plot than when you walked in.
Edited by Ginny Wong