Hey everyone! It’s Ivy. As you probably know, “the Circle” just came out as a movie so I went to see it last weekend. I watched like four different versions of the trailer, and I was hooked. Not only did it have Emma Watson in it, but it looked really well-done and interesting (Of course, even if it didn’t, I would still want to see it because, you know, Emma Watson. Shhhh).
Okay, please don’t be mad at me. I watched the movie before reading the book (bad Ivy!). To my defense, I didn’t even know there WAS a book when I went to see the movie. I Googled it afterward, and viola! there was a book. I haven’t read the book yet, so I’ll get back to you on that, but here’s my thoughts on the movie.
what you need to know:
Producer-costar Tom Hanks plays CEO of the Circle, an enormous high-tech company (not unlike Google or Apple) that stems out into every aspect of the lives of America. Hanks did a brilliant job as Eamon Bailey, founder of the company. It was so realistic it was insane- he gave his speeches the way he would on a talk show, and for some reason felt like a character that you knew you could trust, which is ironic since he’s Evil Hank in the movie.
You can kind of see where the movie’s going even if you haven’t read the book. Mae (Emma Watson) begins a job at the Circle and is chosen by Bailey and co-founder Tom Stenton to lead an experiment in a tiny new camera that records the worlds’ every action. Mae takes part in “total transparency” as promoted by her boss and embraces a life of tiny cameras…everywhere. Guys like Eamon are really interested in having access to data about our every move so they can monitor our lives, sell us new products, and resell our information to third parties.
The whole time, there was kind of lowkey paranoia in each scene, even the relaxed ones, that made me kind of on-edge watching it play out. It’s especially amped up when Eamon strides onstage to give one of his TED-talk-ish speeches to the company or to unveil a groundbreaking new product (like the tiny spherical cameras that Eamon distributes all over the world).
Throughout the movie, it is really frustrating as you watch Mae get more and more sucked into the high-tech, deceitful world of the Circle. She reacts to her job the way most of us would- excited, but distrustful. However, the bigger-than-life reality of the Circle wins her over and we have to watch the process of her becoming the gullible prey of Eamon.
It’s a very realistic situation, and produced very believably, but I do think it falls short when it comes to predictability. You can see what’s coming in a bland sort of way and there are no plot twists or multiple climaxes. Yes, it’s a futuristic thriller, and it did make me on edge and thinking, but I think both the writer of the novel and the producer of the film fell short on the thrill aspect. I’ve read much more, uh, thrilling thrillers (haha).
the ending (spoiler alert)
I have to say, the ending confused me. A lot. Here’s what happened: Eamon gives May the job opportunity as one of the ‘thinkers’ of the company rather than one of the workers, as she was before. At the next TedTalk-ish company gathering, Mae leads the speech. She presents a challenge to Eamon and Tom: that they go completely transparent, what the founders themselves encourage so many other people to. Accessible information to all Emails, phone calls, accounts, business transactions. In that scene, there are a lot of worried looks exchanged between Tom and Eamon and a lot of excitement from the crowd. In the end, the choice isn’t really either of theirs to make, because with the position May has put them in, they have to accept, or else the reputation of their company will be put on the line.
The end continues to confuse me. Mae, after deserting her family and going back to work at the Circle, gives the whole speech encouraging the CEOs to go transparent. This leaves me wondering whether, without the watchers directly knowing, Mae decided to take initiative and make a move against the Circle with reverse psychology in promoting the products (instead exposing the CEOs and their ulterior motives), or if she actually did get so deeply immersed in the Circle that she genuinely promoted the projects and thought transparency was a good idea.
The last scene started the same way as the first scene- Mae paddling out in a kayak into the bay, but then unlike the first scene, drones flew in and she smiled eerily up at them, and her video disappeared into thousands of others, all captured by the tiny cameras.
To be totally honest, I thought that the resolution was rising action. The credits came and I was so confused, I seriously thought the climax was coming up
Rate (out of 5): ★★★
AMAZING acting but confusing theme and ending.
I’d say, confusing ending aside, the Circle is worth watching. It is just so well done, it feels insanely realistic. Have you seen the Circle yet? If you have, what are your thoughts?? We would love to know!