Review: “The Circle” misses the point despite star cast

A star-studded cast of Emma Watson, Tom Hanks and John Boyega could not save the all-over-the-place story in the film “The Circle.”

Part of the filming for “The Circle” took place at Citrus College last year inside the Haugh Performing Arts Center, with Watson, Hanks and Boyega all visiting the campus to film scenes inside the venue.

A movie that felt like it ran too long, “The Circle” ends abruptly, leaving the audience to wonder what happens next – If the audience cared to wonder what’s next.

The story could not stick to a plot and with so many things going on, it was hard to find a focus of what the film is trying to convey.

With a Big Brother-like theme, the movie follows Mae Holland, played by Watson, best known for Hermione in “Harry Potter” and Belle in “Beauty and the Beast,” a daughter struggling to help her parents get by until she is given an opportunity to work at the most prestigious tech company in the world, The Circle.

Mae has to adjust to her new life while trying to balance relationships with old friends and family.

The movie does not build Watson’s character well enough and the audience is given the sense that Mae is better off when she is not around others, even kayaking at night in the fog alone to get away, which contrasts with what she encounters at The Circle, where the world knows what she is doing at all times.

The ball-like cameras that see everything worldwide show a couple scenes that affect Mae, one involving her parents and another with her friend, Mercer, but the aftermath of both those scenes goes away so quickly, the audience is left to move on without feeling anything.

It was hard to feel any emotion watching “The Circle” and the movie ends before there is a true sense of who any of the characters really are.

Not too much is known about Eamon Bailey, played by Hanks, and the audience was left wondering throughout if he was a good guy or a bad guy. The ending leaves many questions left unanswered in regards to Hanks’ character, though it vaguely answers whether he has good or bad intentions.

Ty Lafitte, played by Boyega, best known for playing Finn in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” was the most interesting character in the movie, but did not get enough screen time. The movie missed the mark, because Ty was the outsider at The Circle and the audience was robbed of getting to learn more about him.

By the end of the movie, Ty was nowhere to be seen, leaving people wondering what is next for him. Boyega’s character played a huge role in the ending, but all behind the scenes.

The idea of “The Circle” was an interesting one, even if more and more movies are moving toward the technological, digital theme, but the execution of the movie left much more to be desired.

“The Circle” should be no more than a rental on Redbox for the avid movie watcher and have already seen the more popular movies in theaters.

At a time in which “Beauty and the Beast” and “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” are in theaters, it would be a wiser investment to takes friends and family to watch one of these again before seeing “The Circle.”



John Michaelides is the editor-in-chief of the Clarion. He is a communications major who hopes to transfer to Cal State Fullerton next year. John loves Disneyland, Star Wars, Marvel, "The Office," the Rams and Lakers.