If The Circle had been released about ten years ago, it might have been a terrifying glimpse of the future. If it had been released five years ago, it might have still been a bit of a warning of things to come. But since it was released in 2017 and everything seen on screen is already possible, if not actively happening, its a tale of closing the gate after the cow has left the pasture.
The Circle is a bad movie. It’s an odd mixture of a Steve Jobs bio-pic and The Truman Show. We start with our hero, a young and dumb Emma Watson who inexplicably has American parents, longing for a better life than the one being Temp offers her. A friend who is in The Gang of 40 at The Circle offers her a job. She soon becomes a superstar at The Circle, a kind of Apple/Facebook/Google/Big Brother Silicone Valley company with more money than god.
Emma becomes uber famous when she live streams her life to everyone in The Circle, and I suppose, everyone with an internet connection. She takes her new found power and uses it to put forth a couple of ideas. One is that any wanted criminal can be found with the help of the gazillion uses of The Circle. Another is that everyone using The Circle should be required to Vote.
The search and destroy aspect of The Circle works better than expected. They catch a fugitive in ten minutes. They then decide to try it on someone who isn’t a criminal. In a chase reminiscent of the death of Princess Di, the good people of The Circle murder someone for no reason. There is never any mention that there were any consequences to this crime for The Circle or Emma herself.
As for the everyone has to vote bit of business, well, no government on Earth wants to require all of its citizens to vote. While it might be an ideal, the Party in power only wants their constituents to vote. No government, even a ‘democracy’, wants full scale mob rule. The people in power want the power for themselves.
In the end, Emma destroys The Circle by outing her bosses. But it’s too late, she already lives in a post privacy world. And, for the most part, so do we.
The Circle was an odd movie. It looked good, had great actors and sets, and yet the story didn’t make any sense.