Hollywood Actually Made A Movie Criticizing Silicon Valley Totalitarians
After renting The Circle, I can see why one of my followers suggested I check it out in the wake of Google's idiotic, wrongful firing of James Damore.
The film boasts the star power of Tom Hanks, Emma Watson, Patton Oswalt, Bill Paxton and Star Wars favorite John Boyega. Notably, Hanks also produced this film adapted from a book written by Dave Eggers by the same name.
According to Box Office Mojo, this 2017 production had a budget of $18 million and grossed $20 million. That's about as quiet as they come for a cast like this on a topic like this. This isn't some quirky Wes Anderson art house flick. The Circle had something very serious on its mind.
As a movie, it really stunk. Paper thin characters. Emma Watson truly is a low energy, overrated actress.
As a didactic cautionary tale depicting totalitarian values inside Silicon Valley's top companies, it succeeded. I suspect this was the original intent in making The Circle in the first place.
The fictitious company, Circle, is essentially a mashup of Apple, Google and Facebook. When the Circle's executives aren't laying on extra peer pressure to post on their social media platform and attend "optional" Circle social outings, they want to know and see all things, all the time. Imagine Periscope, but the cameras are almost everywhere. They think this panopticon makes you an honest, better person.
Circlers, as they're known, led by Emma Watson and cheerled by Tom Hanks/Patton Oswalt, also get the idea to make having a Circle account mandatory for Americans in order to achieve 100% voter registration, with 100% of Circlers being required to vote...or else. You could also pay your taxes via a Circle account, track down fugitives, etc. You get the idea. Hell, this company even makes its employees drink a small sensor that monitors their vitals 24/7. Where do I apply, fam?
I wish there was a happy ending here too. Instead, it finished on more of a Black Mirror note. In total, The Circle was one long Black Mirror episode.
If you want to inhabit Mark Zuckerberg's skin suit for 110 minutes, I recommend you check this flick out. It gives you a peek into some very disturbing thinking that is plaguing Silicon Valley today.