Even Tom Hanks, Emma Watson can’t rescue The Circle: Movie review | movie reviews | Hindustan Times
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Even Tom Hanks, Emma Watson can’t rescue The Circle: Movie review

A promising tale of super-tech gone wrong in a future world, quickly loses steam and unravels.

movie reviews Updated: May 26, 2017 16:56 IST
Rashid Irani
Tom Hanks is reliably charming, even in a rare turn as the villain.
Tom Hanks is reliably charming, even in a rare turn as the villain.
THE CIRCLE
  • Direction: James Ponsoldt
  • Actors: Tom Hanks, Emma Watson
  • Rating: 1.5 / 5

It’s a hot-button topic all right. Unfortunately, this cautionary tale about technological totalitarianism does not live up to its promise.

Envisioning a new age of complete transparency, the head honcho of a social media conglomerate called The Circle (Tom Hanks, reliably charismatic even in a rare ‘bad guy’ role) believes that ‘knowing is good, but knowing everything is better’.

He authorises a hidden camera-driven digital programme named ‘SeeChange’ to usher in a surveillance society, with disquieting possibilities.

Emma Watson is endearing as a young employee-turned-celebrity whose life is suddenly up for public viewing.

Based on the 2013 novel of the same name by the literary wunderkind Dave Eggers, The Circle starts exceptionally well but quickly unravels. Director James Ponsoldt (The Spectacular Now) fails to sustain the atmosphere of creepiness he starts out with.

There’s a strong supporting cast, featuring John Boyega as a disillusioned co-worker, Karen Gillan as the helpful college friend, and the late Bill Paxton in the last role of his career, as the terminally ill parent.

Despite the roster of talent both in front of and behind the camera, though, The Circle is uninspiring.