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‘The Circle’ Movie Review

16 Apr

Movie poster via Book My Show

FINALLY! I had The Circle on my TBR before the movie was announced but when it came out, I tried to read the book so I could see the movie in theaters and compare them but life (and book clubs) happened and I’m only just now reading and watching. I’m so behind the times. At least I’m trying to catch up!

Things I Thought Were Awesome

Mercer. I know Ellar Coltrane doesn’t look a thing like the Mercer described in the book, but I almost liked him better. Mae seemed really superficial when she started making fun of how Mercer looked so having an attractive guy play him made more sense to me. He still came off as ‘outdoors-y’ and hands-on without an out for teasing him on vanity reasons.

Chasing Mercer. This scene was hard to read and understand in the book but seeing it played out made me really appreciate how he felt chased. It’s easy to see why, after getting death threats from strangers, he wanted to hide and being chased made him flee like an animal.

Changes That Didn’t Really Bother Me

Taking out Francis. He didn’t add much to the story in my mind. He did give us a baseline for Mae’s ideas of privacy at the beginning of the book and how they changed by the end. But really, he just made me sad most of the time. Better not to have a sad character.

Reducing the feedback systems. There was so much as far as the surveys, PartiRank, influencer scores, ah! It was too much, and that was the point of it all, but it was still overwhelming to read and would have been overwhelming to see in the movie. Better off without it.

Taking out the fish tank. That was a heavy-handed metaphor if I’ve ever read one. It added nothing to the plot and only served to show the three founders as aquatic creatures and see, in a very disturbing feeding practice, how a society can destroy itself.

Cover image via Goodreads

Things That Were Taken Out and I’m Still Wondering Why

Mae’s relationship with Ty/Kalden. I felt this was pretty integral to their teamwork at the end (which I’ll get to later). Without the relationship between them, I felt there wasn’t much for the trust they shared to be based on. I would have argued for the relationship to be left in, especially with Francis being taken out.

Transparency. Mae’s transparency was a big deal, but the number of other people going transparent was really glossed over. There was the one senator, but that didn’t scrape the surface of the number of people in the book who became transparent. I wish it was shown that Mae wasn’t such an anomaly.

Things That Changed Too Much

Warning: all of these are spoilers for the book and the movie. You’ve been warned.

Annie. I thought the way Annie’s story ended in the book was appropriate. There had to be a victim who’d been swept up in the Circle and it was Annie. She was necessary to show the evil in a system like the Circle and without her collapse, the ending seemed almost happy. As much as I hate to say it, Annie needed to end up in that coma.

Ty at the end. I don’t get this one. Why would he want to share Stenton and Eamon’s secrets but not bring down the company? It didn’t make sense to me what he was trying to accomplish. He’d already said that the reason he created TruYou had been twisted and he wasn’t happy with it. Why would he be happy with the Circle’s path and want it to continue? I feel like there’s a deleted scene here that makes this all make sense and makes Mae look like the bad one.

Eamon at the end. I didn’t like him ending up the bad guy after all. I pinned him as the guy who genuinely thought he was doing something for the good of the world and seeing him entrenched in secrets and getting ready to face legal battles ruined his character for me. I wish they’d left him out of it, maybe thrown Stenton under the bus alone. Or, you know, kept the ending from the book. Just saying.

Spoilers over!

Overall, it was a fair representation of the book though, of course, a lot was cut out for time. It was such a long book, I knew a lot had to go. Reader, have you seen The Circle movie? What did you think?

Until next time, write on.

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