Wednesday, May 10, 2017

The Circle - Book/Movie Review & Comparison

Author: Dave Eggers

Genre: Thriller

My Rating: ★★★

Synopsis: When Mae Holland is hired to work for the Circle, the world’s most powerful internet company, she feels she’s been given the opportunity of a lifetime. The Circle, run out of a sprawling California campus, links users’ personal emails, social media, banking, and purchasing with their universal operating system, resulting in one online identity and a new age of civility and transparency. As Mae tours the open-plan office spaces, the towering glass dining facilities, the cozy dorms for those who spend nights at work, she is thrilled with the company’s modernity and activity. There are parties that last through the night, there are famous musicians playing on the lawn, there are athletic activities and clubs and brunches, and even an aquarium of rare fish retrieved from the Marianas Trench by the CEO. Mae can’t believe her luck, her great fortune to work for the most influential company in America - even as life beyond the campus grows distant, even as a strange encounter with a colleague leaves her shaken, even as her role at the Circle becomes increasingly public. What begins as the captivating story of one woman’s ambition and idealism soon becomes a heart-racing novel of suspense, raising questions about memory, history, privacy, democracy, and the limits of human knowledge.

My Thoughts: The Circle is a dystiopian novel about a world where technology grows to the point where it threatens to "be" the new democracy. I was intrigued, creeped out, and super invested. Maybe I am in the minority, but I couldn't believe some of the ideas that Mae and her colleagues were coming up with. I also couldn't believe the extremes they were willing to go to be "transparent". I would feel like the whole world was being super invasive (maybe I just have things to hide... or do I 😝). The further you get into this book, the more you realize that it could all actually happen in a near future. With that being said, I look forward to the movie adaptation that comes out at the end of the month. I think that this book was made to be turned into a movie and I am hoping that it will be as good as the novel. Definitely recommend this one!

Genre: Thriller

Director: James Ponsoldt

Starring: Tom Hanks, Emma Watson

My Rating: 

Synopsis: See above

My Thoughts: This movie adaptation, like many others unfortunately, was underwhelming. There were many changes made from the book, including what I would consider to be one of the big reveals, that made if hard for me to like this movie. In the book, you find out the identity of who was actually in charge for creating The Circle towards the end. There is a mysterious character that Mae sees occasionally and knows very little about, but she can never seem to find him when she needs to. He ends up being the creator and has lots of secrets that he reveals to Mae throughout the course of the book. In the movie, the mystery is completely taken out and this character is rendered essentially useless. He is pushed so far into the background, you wouldn't have even noticed if he was just written out all together. There were other small changes made from the book, but those were less important and more understandable in my opinion. I also feel like the movie set up so many questions that we got no answers to. For example, they movie implies that the people behind The Circle have been hiding stuff from their employees, but they never actually say what it is that they are hiding. 

I do have to say that this was movie was beautiful though. The visuals and the "Circle" technology were honestly impressive. Throughout the movie, I was actually convinced that some of the technology was created for this spectacular internet company (even though in real life I knew this to not be true). I also thought that Emma Watson did a great job. She was relatable and charming and looked as though she would completely fit into a giant corporation like The Circle. 

Overall, The Circle was average. There was nothing new or special and even though this could also be said for the book, the book had an excitability that still drew you in and kept you there. If I were to make a recommendation, I would say read the book and pick the movie up at your local library or Redbox.

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