Yesterday, April 28, 2017, the movie ‘The Circle’ was released to U.S. theaters without much fan fair; however, perhaps it should. ‘The Circle’ features such blockbuster stars as Tom Hanks, Emma Watson, Bill Paxton amongst others, and though I and others in the theater thought it was very good, it has not yet gotten very good ratings on Google, Rotten Tomatoes or IMDB.
‘The Circle’ closely parallels companies such as Facebook, Apple, Google, and other tech companies and how far are they willing to go to exploit once’s privacy. And what will the ‘The Circle’ do to protect their own privacy while exploiting others.
Mae (Emma Watson) finds herself being hired at her dream job with a company called The Circle whose campus looks strikingly similar to Apple’s ‘flying saucer’ headquarters. Her best friend Bonnie (Glenne Headly) was responsible for Mae’s hiring and was in the company’s ‘Gang of 40’ (an ominous reference to the Maoist regime). During most of the movie, The Circle company seems to be the answer to Mae’s troubles, even though it seems a bit intrusive to her life. For example, her father Vinnie (Bill Paxton) has multiple sclerosis (MS), which apparently many in the company are already aware of, even though she had not told anyone. The company arranges for Vinnie to become attached to Mae’s health plan and his health improves. Also, a new invention by the company, SeeChange, is responsible for saving Mae’s life.
In time, the company seems like it is heading toward the path of an Orwellian ‘1984’ or any number of dystopian tales, but this is something one can clearly see is where we are headed with technology today. There are many things brought out in the movie that many may not realize, but which is true. For example, the United States is a constitutional republic, purposely not a democracy because democracy is nothing more than mob rule. It does not seem to matter whether Republicans or Democrats are in charge, it is up to Americans to change the path we seem to be headed with the erosion of our privacy.
While technology has seemingly endless benefits to society, it clearly has a dark side which rears its head in ‘The Circle’. The movie runs a bit slow and is very predictable, but is worth seeing if not for another reminder of the slippery slope we are traipsing.