Emma Watson and Tom Hanks star in The Circle. (ImageNation photo)

Reel Reviews: Going transparent

Mae is excited about her new job at The Circle, a social media company with millions of users

Mae (Emma Watson) is excited about her new job at The Circle, a technology and social media company with hundreds of millions of users worldwide.

When her boss, the CEO (Tom Hanks), invites Mae to “go transparent” broadcasting every second of her life online to the world, Mae becomes world famous, but not without developing problems in her personal and professional life. A company insider, programming genius Ty (John Boyega) invites Mae to make it possible for others to go transparent, equalizing the peril and opportunity of such a process.

We say, “The Circle a film about privacy and accountability.

TAYLOR: The Circle is a cool story. It’s modern, relevant, intriguing, and fun, but the movie is far from great. There is some bad writing, bad acting, bad editing, and bad directing in this film, culminating in an underwhelming film. While watching the film, I noticed the bad performances of exaggerated acting and over-emoting, particularly from Watson and Boyega, who always seem to be out of breath. But even Hanks seemed to be sleepwalking through the film. It didn’t take away from my ability to enjoy the film, as I was keen to know what would happen in this very believable situation, but it does keep me from saying this is a good film after the fact.

HOWE: I just wonder how far from the reality of the concept of this film we actually are with things like Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube, just to name a few. And to be honest, it’s a pretty scary thought. I did enjoy The Circle though, and I agree there were some really ropey moments with the acting. Watson isn’t the most spectacular actor, and there are far better actors out there who could have given a more believable performance. Hanks, on the other hand, does what he always does, and that’s a solid yet under-par performance, even with his brief screen time. Yet it is his one sentence at the end of the movie that saves him.

TAYLOR: Those two words are possibly the highlight of the film, but that also says something about The Circle.

HOWE: The main problem that I found with The Circle, besides Watsons’ acting, is that being a Sci-Fi thriller, there wasn’t enough thriller for me. You knew right away what direction the film would go. Personally, I would have liked to have seen a real twist in the end, but again like most movies it has to have the clean and tidy ending.

TAYLOR: Well, it was based on a novel, and that novel went into a lot more detail about Mae and her transparency. However, books usually do go into more detail than their movie renditions. The Circle is merely okay — the sort of movie no one will remember in short order. I bet if it didn’t have Hanks in it, for the few minutes he’s in it, the film would have wound up on Netflix and the DVD shelf.

Taylor gives The Circle 1.5 audits out of 5

Howe gives it 2.5 drones out of 5

— Brian Taylor and Peter Howe are film reviewers based in Vernon. Their column, Reel Reviews, appears every Friday.

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