The Circle’ attempts to tackle issues with tech

By Ivan Mateo

Raise your hand if you have a Facebook account. What about Instagram? Gmail? Snapchat? Myspace? Twitter? At one point in a person’s life, they have probably used a social media platform to share a cute picture of their dog or like a picture of a friend’s mediocre-looking burger.

We all use social media in different ways such as keeping in touch with friends across the globe or following our favorite sports teams. There are negatives to social media as well, however.

Some people use said platforms to cultivate an image of themselves that may not be wholly honest because of an obsession with image. They are presenting a constructed perception as reality.

What if we knew everything and saw everything? The tagline for “The Circle” is “Knowing is good. Knowing everything is better.” But is it really?

Based on Dave Eggers’ 2013 novel of the same name, the _ÀåÂ_Älm opens up with Mae Holland (Emma Watson) trying to navigate post-grad life trying to _ÀåÂ_Änd work wherever she can. She works at a temp job as a customer service representative for the local water company.

Things change drastically for the better as Mae’s friend, Annie Allerton (Karen Gillan) scores Mae an interview at a company called The Circle. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for Mae that will help provide for her family. One

of her only motivations is to help her father, Vinnie Holland (Bill Paxton) and mother, Bonnie Holland (Glenne Headly). Her father suffers from multiple sclerosis, where communication between the brain and body are severely hindered.

The Circle is a tech company behind a platform called “TrueYou,” a hub connecting email and social media together along with many other things; think Facebook and Google combined.

Life at The Circle consists of a multitude of amenities from doga (dog yoga), concerts performed by Beck, partying, etc. if the workers are not glued to their work desks. Eamon Bailey (Tom Hanks), the head and cofounder of The Circle, runs the company along with Tom Stenton (Patton Oswalt).

More often than not, Stenton sits quietly in the shadows while Bailey does the speaking.

There is an auditorium on The Circle campus where Bailey announces new tech and initiatives.

It seems like Bailey is in the midst of announcing the new iPhone every time he steps on stage.

Some of the new technology introduced are SeeChange, a minuscule camera that can see and hear everything but is barely visible, and SoulSearch, a technology to locate anyone in the world through crowdsourcing methods.

John Boyega’s character, Ty La_ÀåÂ_Ätte, is surprisingly underutilized and one that could probably be written off as a cameo performance instead.

The _ÀåÂ_Älm introduces his character and starts building him up as an important person to be aware of, but the _ÀåÂ_Älm _Àå‰Û_at out does nothing with the character. He shows up, then disappears.

The transformation of Annie’s character is one to behold. She starts at the top of the company in the inner circle, while Mae starts at the bottom. Their roles slowly switch places. Annie’s character felt more interesting because she shows change.

Some of the notable mantras stemming from The Circle are “secrets are lies,” “sharing is caring” and “privacy is theft.”

A little extreme, no?

This sparks a debate between transparency versus privacy.

When is it too much information? As people, we need our alone time.

Is there too much of an overreliance on technology?

Mercer (Ellar Coltrane), Mae’s oldest friend, does not partake in social media.

He wants to focus on real conversations instead of _ÀåÂ_Ältering through technology.

Mercer has a point.

Sometimes, we all need to take a step back and just have a face to face conversation.

More characterization for each character throughout the _ÀåÂ_Älm should have been allotted as a priority.

What makes them click? What quali_ÀåÂ_Äes each of them to do their jobs?

Some of the characters in the _ÀåÂ_Älm appeared almost robotic in their mannerisms and ways of speaking.

Recently, society has been dealing with issues such as the Facebook killer live streaming and net neutrality laws being hotly debated.

Technological advances keep continuing, so society will continue to debate the positives and negatives.

Is full transparency the ultimate goal? Is knowing too much information a detriment?

“The Circle” brings interesting ideas surrounding technology today, but the execution often feels both slow and rushed at the same time.

“The Circle” feels every bit like a two-hour _ÀåÂ_Älm and not in a good way, in addition to the characters afforded little to no character development.

“The Circle” is rated PG13 for a sexual situation, brief strong language and some thematic elements including drug use.

“The Circle” is playing in theaters now.

Courtesy of Europacorp

‘The Circle’ movie poster

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