I’ve been looking forward to the release of film adaptation of the bestseller The Circle, since I was midway through reading the book more than two years ago. Going off of just the trailer, I’m betting that the film, which hits theaters on April 28th, is going to be one of the rare exceptions to the rule that the book is better than the movie.
So what is The Circle? It’s an enormous tech company that has built a platform that houses everything you need in order to live your life online. It’s your social media, your bank, and thanks to a FitBit type product that The Circle manufactures, it’s your health care professional too. The Circle knows almost everything about everyone. All it’s missing are the parts of people’s lives they live offline. The pictures and videos that aren’t shared, the conversations that aren’t had over its network, these are the secrets kept from The Circle.
This is unacceptable to the CEO of The Circle Eamon Bailey (played by Tom Hanks) who believes in the perfectibility of mankind. In order to achieve his impossible goal, secrets must be eradicated because secrets are lies. How do you end the lying? By living every moment of your life in front of a live-streaming camera. It’s Big Brother minus the authoritarian government. Most people totally buy into the wishy-washy feel-good talk about human perfectibility and embrace living their lives totally online, and they are more than happy to shame, ridicule, and force everyone to acquiesce to share every moment of their lives. There are still those who resist. They square off against those who have bought into Bailey’s moral code. Things get ugly. In the end…nope not going to spoil it for you.
It’s a movie worth seeing, because even if the acting stinks, and the characters are as shallow as they were in the book, the story is thought provoking. It will no doubt lead to interesting and potentially heated debates about just how much of ourselves we should be sharing with huge corporations who have their own agendas.