The Circle director fails to deliver on film’s potential

By Yecenia Alcaraz

Despite having two highly recognizable actors, “The Circle” fails to convey what could have been an important message to viewers.

The film is based on a book by Dave Eggers who took an Orwellian twenty-first century approach.   

Emma Watson plays the main character Mae Holland, who is hired at a well known and highly influential technology and social media company called the Circle.

Mae gets the job through her good friend Annie, played by Karen Gillian, who is part of a group of decision makers at the Circle.

Gillian does an exceptional job at playing this character, who in the beginning seems to play an essential role. From one second to the next, Gillian’s role goes from strong to hardly relevant.

The producers switch her role to a person who is barely functional.

Even though this may not be the best role Watson has played, she does a great job at showcasing a character with open-minded behavior. Watson is known for taking on powerful female roles.

This film however, does not represent her strong feminist views. At first, Mae seems submissive and ordinary. At the same time, Mae’s obedient behavior is obvious to the audience and comes with a reason: She feels grateful and lucky to have been given a job at the Circle.

Tom Hanks is introduced to the audience as Bailey, the leader of the Circle.

Although Hanks is known for his amazing acting skills, this film does not demonstrate his distinct artistry. In this film, Hanks plays a downsized, traditional supporting role.

When Mae attends her first party at the Circle, she meets Ty Gospodinov, played by John Boyega. Scenes with Boyega are short and dry. Most of Boyega’s scenes did not have lines, and he used more facial expressions to help bring hype and emotion to several scenes.

Mercer, who is a close friend to Mae and her parents, is played by Ellar Coltrane. Just like most characters in this film, he also plays a weak and colorless role.

The producers hint at a possible love connection between Mae and Mercer, but it does not transpire into something romantic.

Instead, it develops and plateaus on an ordinary friendship. The director did not try hard enough to develop a connection between Mercer and the audience.

His scenes were significant parts of the film, yet did not have genuine emotion. With potential to produce an important message, the film lacks dimension and struggles to get the point across.

Needless to say, this film is not worth making a trip to your local theater. It’s better to wait for the film’s DVD release than to watch it in theaters.

With a length time of 110 minutes, “The Circle” is rated PG-13 for sexual content , brief, strong language and some drug use.

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