Saturday, 7 July 2018

The Circle

This is a kind of horror story, really, which, it could be argued, most of us are near to, if not already, living. It depicts a huge data-collecting agency, such as any of the giants which we already have, allegedly sucking people into sharing every detail about their lives so that one organisation gets more and more powerful, even more so than the most powerful government as they are unrestricted by the typical style of infrastructure problems which tend to go hand-in-hand with official bodies. The point being made here, is that a spider-based corporation is more free to develop in a different way with a more 'open' style and foster transparency in lieu of collecting that precious data about everyone and everything.

Inevitably not everything goes to plan but where things go wrong, the approach adopted is one of 'this has been a disaster but we can fix it and do better'. It's an interesting view of what is, could be, might be (going to) happen(ing) around us as many of us seem willing to allow our data, movements and even video of our lives and movements to be harvested by an organisation with a vision. We all know who the companies being suggested are, which have the capacity to develop these goals further in reality.

Laying aside the ins and outs of the horror story/liberating message about modern humanity and documenting our lives, the female lead is taken by Emma Watson and she embraces that well, depicting a rookie developing in confidence into a leader and visionary whilst being able to cope with personal loss and disaster enabling further growth. The rest of the cast do a good enough job and Tom Hanks, in his 3 scenes (wonder how much he got paid for that!), played the organisation's leader with his usual command.

The direction, sets and photography are interesting and clearly based on what is known from 'insiders' of these kinds of organisations. Quite a lot of the film is the view through people's carried video recorders, which adds to the ambience and overlays on the screen give a feel of the engagement with the outside world which users can expect to be subjected to, if they're not already. It's a bit of a scary picture of the future in some ways, depending on how you view what's going on out there. Certainly makes you think. Recommended.

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