Sunday, April 30, 2017

My review of #TheCircle

[VIDEO] Lately when I go to the movies most of them are just forgettable entertainment. You go in and be entertained, however, later you simply forget about it. There's nothing really groundbreaking about the movie itself or laugh, feel the adrenaline, etc. and then you leave.

That wasn't the case with The Circle. Now with that said I've seen the reception on its Wiki page and saw that so far there aren't many that like the movie so far. I never pay attention to Rotten Tomatoes and see that this film isn't rated highly.

Why does The Circle touch a nerve with me? It shows the scary effects of social media. Our hero Mae starts to work at this tech company which appears to be a cross between Apple and fb. It offers these small cameras that can be placed anywhere and unseen to the eye. And then there appears to be a social network attached to it.

Mae herself becomes a major show on this social network and likely billions log on to see how she's doing. Unfortunately some sad consequences come of it. Her friend Mercer comes to an unfortunate end as the latest online sensation. It seems the friend - Annie -who brought her to that company doesn't want anything to do with her although they seem to have an uneasy relationship as Mae's star begins to rise.

Mercer's strikes an unfortunate nerve. As Mae begins broadcast her life for her company her fans find out about Mercer's past and refer to him as a deer killer although he defends himself by saying he doesn't kill deer. It becomes a point where he as Mae's friend had to cut ties with her because of her new celebrity.

Unfortunately, later the crowd clamors for Mae to find Mercer - after she herself used the Circle to find a wanted fugitive. They do so and of course a comment about him being a deer killer. After keeping a low-profile and he flees. Without giving away much this is the point in the movie where I take off my ballcap. I was truly disgusted with the movie at that point.

To start we see a form of online shaming in this film. Let's say you find one piece of information about someone - whether that person posted themselves or not - and then it goes viral. Then it literally becomes a form of bullying and outright nastiness. Perhaps it's truthful or perhaps not, however, either way someone believes it and spreads it and for a moment it's like wildflower. Scary thing is, it might be a while before you find out about it.

I like how Mae turned the tables on her bosses at the Circle - Eamon & Tom - who egged on the many activities that led to what happened with Mercer. She got connected with one of the founders of the circle - he has a low profile because we doesn't like what's going on at this company - who helped her turn the tables. And we go back to one thing that they never wanted to give up for themselves - privacy.

They didn't truly want to be transparent, but everyone else should be. Mae's life was saved because she took a kayak got thrown about in high waves and almost drowned. Perhaps there is no right to privacy in a public place but how transparent does one need to be in the world. Beside we all should be embarrassed by something.

It lets me know, now that we live in a world with cell phone video cameras and we can broadcast those images live on Periscope, fb, ig, etc. we have to be more careful. Perhaps we might behave better if we're being watched - and yes that's not always true. At the same time at what point have we gone too far with this activity?

BTW, I never realized that this film was based on a book and see a vastly different story here. I got to find that book now and give it a read. Perhaps it'll tell me more about the story and the issues in real life that are shown.

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