7:30 PM, 10th October, 2017
Based on the 2013 Dave Eggers novel of the same name, The Circle follows the journey of Mae Holland (Watson), a recent college graduate who secures a job at the titular corporation, a super high-tech Google/Facebook/Apple mish-mash, which is presided over by its Steve Jobs-like CEO, Eamon Bailey (Hanks).
The inventor and promoter of innovative concepts – including ‘SeeChange’, a miniature wearable portable camera that streams live and continuously to the Internet – the company pursues a philosophy of total transparency. Privacy is viewed as a selfish barrier to human progress, resulting in a society of perpetual over-sharers. As Mae rises higher in the company’s ranks, she is confronted by the dangerous consequences of this ‘sharing is caring, secrets are lies’ philosophy – the world is a much more convenient place, but at what cost? At the same time, she becomes romantically involved with mysterious co-worker Kalden (Boyega), and faces an anti-Circle adversary in her ex-boyfriend (Boyhood’s Ellar Coltrane).
Written and directed by James Ponsoldt (The Spectacular Now) and buoyed by a strong cast, The Circle is a necessary exploration of pertinent themes at the nexus of technology and society. It is both a dystopian warning in the spirit of Orwell’s “1984” and a satire of Silicon Valley’s political idealism.