Based on the book by Dave Eggers, The Circle, tells the story of Mae Holland (Emma Watson; The Harry Potter Series) and her experiences working for the company entitled The Circle. When the film starts out we see Mae working a miserable job as a customer service representative for the local water company. Her longtime friend Annie (Karen Gillan; Guardians of The Galaxy) gets her an interview with a company called The Circle, that has a strong resemblance to the real world company, Apple.
Aside from Watson The Circle boasts an amazing cast of actors including Tom Hanks (Inferno), John Boyega (Star Wars: The Force Awakens), Patton Oswalt (Veep), the late Bill Paxton (Aliens), and the late Glenne Headly (Future Man). Each of these actors gives an amazing performance and adds to the authenticity and quality of the film. Hanks is perfect as the Steve Jobs type figure of the circle, Boyega handles his role as the Steve Wozniak character in stride, and Paxton and Headly are made for their roles as Mae's supportive parents.
Director James Ponsoldt (The End of the Tour) certainly did his research on Silicon Valley and it's corporations before filming The Circle. He hits all the right beats about the "work/play" atmosphere the surrounds these companies. Ponsoldt truly makes you feel that The Circle is a real company in the world and that he is just filming a documentary. While the film does have an overall beginning, middle, and end, at times the script by author Dave Eggers does drag and almost seems to have no definitive plot at all. Some of this might be attributed to the fact that a lot of changes had to be made for the adaption. For example, since most of the book plays out in Mae's head this had to be changed to since it would not show well in film format.
The Circle is presented in 1080p AVC with a 2.40:1 aspect ratio. While the transfer is a bit grainy, the colors are bright and blacks are true. At no time was there any artificating or edge glow on the transfer.
The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio truly packs a nice punch. The dialog is crisp and clear on the center channel speaker and the special effects are evenly separated through the rest of the system. At no time do the special effects overpower the dialog.
Aside from the Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital HD copy of the film The Circle Blu-ray combo pack has quite a decent amount of extras including:
- No More Secrets: Completing The Circle - A 30 minute featurette divided into four parts showcasing the production process of the film.
- The Future Won't Wait: Design and Technology - A 10 minute look into the technology in the fictional Circle company.
- A True Original: Remembering Bill Paxton - A touching tribute to the late Bill Paxton by Tom Hanks and director James Ponsoldt
Even though The Circle is work fiction its themes are extremely relevant in today's society. A society in which everyone shares and documents everything they do online for the world to see, and while The Circle's ending does not go far enough to warn about these dangers it still provides a thought provoking plot that will have one thinking about it days after the film ends.