I couldn’t find a good trailer for ‘The Circle’ which I didn’t think was too spoilery, this is the best for that but watch with caution!
Read my review of the book ‘The Circle’
I noticed The Circle on netflix shortly after finishing the book. It has some big names in it; Emma Watson, Tom Hanks, Karen Gillan, Beck. I’m not one to watch films because of who they have in them, but I thought ‘The Circle’ could make a good film, and I thought popular actors wouldn’t want to be in it if it was no good.
When it came down to it I actually wanted to write this post because they completely butchered it, in fact I was shocked to find that Eggers had a hand in writing the script because they changed so much and left so much out. The end itself was completely changed, whilst other bits were more simplified. I didn’t think the simplification was a good thing, but I can see why it was done because you always have to cut things for films and it made things gel better. I also think it made things less muddy though. With the book it was hard to tell right from wrong, and there was a fine line between ideas which seemed good and what felt controlling or invasive, with the film that change came a lot quicker and the line was much easier to see.
One of the big problems I had was with Mercer. He was more or less pushed aside in the film. We didn’t really get to see his view point, he just seemed much more of a stick in the mud, and a bit of a loner. We saw closer to Mae’s view of him which she showed in the book, but their relationship wasn’t the same so it was really hard to see how important or not he was.
From this point on there will be spoilers for the film and book.
One other thing was that Mae was very much more seeming to be with ‘The Circle’ in the film. A large part of this was because her relationships were stripped down. Her relationship with Francis was completely cut from the film, and whilst I can sort of see why, I think it added depth to Mae’s character, especially when she found that Francis was broadcasting their sexual encounters. Plus that incident showed how transparency isn’t always a good thing, people need private moments.
The other big relationship change was Mae’s relationship with Ty. In the book Mae didn’t know who Ty was until late on, and his goals and thoughts were often unclear to her. In the film he introduces himself as Ty, and immediately shows his feelings towards what’s going on in The Circle. I can’t see at all why Ty would do this to someone he didn’t know, whereas when Mae didn’t know who he was or what he was about he could figure her out before revealing anything.
I already mentioned how Mercer was ruined by the film but part of that was also about how Mae’s parents were portrayed. In the book they are a sort of line between The Circle’s views and Mercer’s. They can understand how some transparency might be good, and how some things The Circle does are helpful and good to use, but they still have a respect for privacy and ‘real’ relationships. In the film they are just very supportive of Mae and mainly supportive of The Circle.
If you loved the book I wouldn’t recommend the film, but it’s okay as a film in itself.
Have you read the book and/or seen the film. What did you think?