The Circle review: Circle of portentous inanities

This image released by STX Entertainment shows Tom Hanks, Emma Watson and Patton Oswalt in a scene from "The Circle." (Francois Duhamel/ STX Financing via AP)   | Photo Credit: AP

For a film that explores timely themes of the sheer exhaustion of living your life socially networked 24/7, privacy and big brother watching, The Circle is beyond dull. Everyone looks super earnest and unintentional laughs are to be had with the pompous mumbo jumbo spouted by poor John Boyega, who looks like he would be infinitely happier running through the desert wastes of Jakku with Rey.

Based on Dave Eggers’ novel of the same name, The Circle tells the story of Mae Holland who joins this mega internet company called The Circle. At first, Mae is caught up in the glitz and glamour of the job and buys into its intrusive philosophy, only to realise that there is no such thing as a free lunch.

The Circle
  • Director: James Ponsoldt
  • Starring: Emma Watson, Tom Hanks, John Boyega, Bill Paxton
  • Runtime: 110 minutes

After Beauty and the Beast, Emma Watson delivers yet another grown-up version of Hermione as Mae — maybe she should have conjured up a ‘non-boringus’ spell to help prop up drooping eyelids.

Tom Hanks as co-founder of The Circle, Eamon Bailey, tries to inject the right level smarminess. That he manages to do so is a measure of his acting skills. However, he looks so avuncular that it is difficult to imagine him doing dastardly deeds. Incidentally, the logo of The Circle is distractingly similar to one of our public sector banks.

Bill Paxton in his final film role plays Mae’s father Vinnie who suffers from multiple sclerosis — there is some emotional manipulation going on there which is not nice at all.

Stories of success after Faustian pacts make for fascinating thrillers starting from Rosemary’s Babyto The Firm. The Circle is not that film and it does not even have an Al Pacino from The Devil’s Advocatechewing the scenery in the climax. Sigh.

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Printable version | Jun 17, 2021 7:41:17 AM |

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