Movie Review – The Circle, 2017

I’m reviewing this movie because I reviewed the book.

SPOILERS AHEAD FOR BOTH THE BOOK AND THE MOVIE.

I want to start by saying Tom Hanks was perfect for his role in this movie. He was an excellent choice for the character Eamon Bailey. I thought his acting was fantastic.

I thought his acting was pretty much the only fantastic acting.

I really, really like John Boyega, but despite the massive importance of his character, he pretty much faded into the background. It was easy to forget he’d ever been there, so it came as a small surprise and “oh yeah” every time he appeared in a frame.

The hugely massive reveal as to who he is comes quickly in the movie. In a whirlwind of rushed, inexplicable but unwavering trust, he confesses to Mae who he really is, and quickly explains that the company is his but it’s evil and must be stopped.

At this point, the only “evil” thing the company has done is frame a senator who talked shit. Corrupt and shady, yes, but otherwise pretty tame.

Mae ignores this until the whole thing with Mercer flying off a bridge happens.

But let’s consider that scene for a moment. In the movie, Mae is not a maniacal sociopath. She doesn’t foist drones upon the poor man, who, by the way, is the opposite of “fat,” which he is described as being in the book. I’d been imagining a guy who looked like an adult Chris from Family Guy. In the flick, he’s a scrawny little fella.

Anyway, due to lack of exposition and character development, he simply appears to have been living in a dilapidated barn for no reason and to have a crippling phobia of drones. The climactic scene of the book is underwhelming in the movie.

Francis is cut out completely, replaced by a female who appears only in one scene. I am glad for this. The weird ass sex scenes are also removed from the movie, which is also good. They were completely unnecessary, and after having seen it, I think they hurt more than they helped in the book. I am glad to see Ty, who is never referred to as Calden, does not have a bed in a cave on the off chance one of the sheeple wants to bang.

Another major change is the ending, which also feels rushed and confusing. Mae goes from ignoring Ty to listening to him when he suggests a monument should be built for Mercer. (Btw, WHY? He never expressed that he stood for privacy. He just freaked out and flew off a bridge.)

She sticks cameras on the big guys, Eamon and Stenson, who react as though they’ve been doing the most evil shit imaginable and now that it’s come to light, they’ll be assaulted by an angry mob. But it isn’t explained what horrible atrocities they’ve committed; they’ve just been a little shady as far as the audience knows.

Mae creates a world of clarity in which all is known, which is what Eamon wanted. He just didn’t want to be “transparent,” too, but what did he and Stenson expect?

Another omission is the aquarium, which was pages upon pages of the book. Did not hurt the story when it wasn’t mentioned.

So, in some ways, the movie felt far too rushed, but in others, it cut out just the right stuff Emma Watson’s acting was unconvincing, and everyone else except Tom Hanks was blah. I recommend seeing it if you have read the book.

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