|The Frankfurt-Tipp rating:|
|Original title:||The Circle|
|Production country:||USA 2017|
|Running time:||Ca. 119 Min|
|Rated:||From 12 years|
Mae Holland (Emma Watson) can hardly believe her luck: She got a job at "The Circle", the most powerful internet company in the world. Inspired by the high-tech site, the ultra-modern equipment and the friendly colleagues, Mae plunged into the work and soon gained the attention of company founder Eamon Bailey (Tom Hanks). He sees the young woman as the perfect candidate for a big experiment, which would require Mae to accept one hundred percent surveillance of her everyday life. Mae realizes that she could be part of a groundbreaking development in Internet technology and agrees - not knowing what the consequences will be for her own life, but also for that of her family and friends…
"The Circle" is based on the acclaimed novel by Dave Eggers. What at first might read like a fantasy story, turns out to be a frighteningly realistic vision of a not too distant future. Considering how easy it is for people to pass on the most private information to the whole world via social media, the thought that many would be willing to give up their privacy completely for clicks and likes is not that far-fetched. If this is then packaged in such a way that it happens for the good of mankind, because terrorists or criminals can be found anywhere in the world in just a few minutes and brought to justice, then in reality there would probably be frighteningly little resistance from the population to such a system.
Why the film works so well is not only because it traces a certain scenario quite credibly. It is also due to the fact that Steve Jobs clone Eamon Bailey is not drawn as an ice-cold monster, but as an extremely charismatic visionary. Surely, at the end of the day he is also concerned with money and the satisfaction of his ego. And yes, he's dirty too. But there are also reasons for his actions, which are understandable and honourable. This is important because the viewer like Mae should ask himself if Eamon isn't right after all and if his technology wouldn't be a curse for mankind but a blessing. The fact that the boundaries between right and wrong seem to blur again and again here makes the story extremely exciting until the end (which is clearly different from the one in the book) despite some lengths and logical holes.
Tom Hanks is perfectly cast as a charismatic high-tech billionaire and Emma Watson can also convince as an initially naive, but then more and more calculating young woman. The film is also visually captivating. On a tour of the company premises, you actually catch yourself wanting to work here, knowing full well that appearances are more than deceptive. Admittedly, much more could have been gained from the premise. But even if not every element of the staging works, "The Circle" has become a really captivating thriller, which makes you think about the task of privacy on the internet: What am I willing to give up to make the world safer and better? Absolutely worth seeing!
An article by Frankfurt-Tipp