Tag Archives: The Circle

Film of the Book: The Circle


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?

 

Advertisements

1 Comment

Filed under Film review

The Circle- Dave Eggers


Synopsis

‘The Circle’ is the biggest internet company in the world, with technological arms which reach into many areas of life. Mae Holland is one of the lucky ones who gets a job at The Circle, and her life is going to completely change

 

Review

Note: For purposes of this review ‘The Circle’ refers to the book and The Circle refers to the company which is the topic of the book.

When ‘The Circle’ was first released there were a lot of people on my blogroll reading it, and many raving about it. At the time I sort of liked the concept but my experience of the only other Dave Eggers book I’ve read (‘A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius’) sort of put me off. When I finally picked it up it was because it was on kindle daily deal. I kind of wish I hadn’t judged the book by its author because I actually really liked ‘The Circle’.

The book has been described as being a dystopian novel, which is probably accurate, although what makes it really scary and sort of uncomfortable is how close it is to life now, and how at first it doesn’t seem like anything is really that bad, in fact most of the things The Circle are doing seem almost good. It’s only when it’s too late that you realise those things which seemed good are actually not so great, and it makes you question where the line is. At what point did the things The Circle was doing become bad? Or were they always bad?

The Circle is a sort of blend of google and facebook. There’s a social element which is similar to facebook, but then they are all over the place through their ‘true you’ program which means you only ever need to remember one login for everything, banking, shopping, social media. This sounds sort of good, right, convenient? Then they’re into social justice, documenting things for accountability, like demonstrations, you can see where violence might start, and it’s a public place, anyone could see it anyway. It’s not that different from videos being posted on youtube to show what governments are doing. That’s good, right? We want governments to be accountable.

‘The Circle’ has kept popping back into my head since I read it. Part of it was that it got me thinking about fine lines and privacy, and accountability. Part of it is that real life kept making me think of it. Not long after I’d read it I saw that facebook had started a feature where you can see how many people have reacted to your recent posts. Like wow look how popular you are Like! I don’t care about that for my personal account (maybe a little for the blog facebook), at the time I might want to talk to my friends about what I’d posted, or I might appreciate someone’s reaction to it, but I don’t really care about how many people it is. I’m not a big facebook poster anyway.

I would say that ‘The Circle’ does make you think and I would recommend it. Quite a few people dislike it because they find Mae hard to sympathise with, she’s not really a likeable character, so if you have to like your main character then I would maybe leave this one, but her being that way is part of what makes the book what it is.

4.5/5

Buy it:

Kindle (£4.99)

Paperback (£3.85) -Part of the ‘Buy 3 for £10‘ promotion

Other Reviews:

Leeswammes Blog

Book Journey

Nylon Admiral

Did I miss your review? Post a link in comments and I’ll add it here

There’s still time! If you haven’t entered my giveaway of ‘Yes Means Yes’ why not?!

 

2 Comments

Filed under Contempory, Dystopian, Fiction review