Retrospective: The Circle (2017)

Three years ago, I reviewed a film called ‘The Circle‘ starring Emma Watson and Tom Hanks. What would happen if we lived in a society where massive multinational tech corporations controlled all aspects of our lives?

Sound familiar?

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One of the most puzzling aspects of this film was how a majority of critics interpreted that the premise of this movie was far “too ridiculous” to actually happen in real life. We would never allow a company like Google or Apple to gain access to things like our medical records and vital signs willingly would we? We would never allow a Silicon Valley giant to become so powerful that we willingly would do everything that they said, right?

Spoiler alert, we already have.

While The Circle creates a world in which an exaggerated version of Google which controls every social aspect of a person’s life to the point where if your heart rate goes up over 100 bpm, that the company will have a record of it, the film really exposes a world that we already live in today, and have lived in for years.

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In the wake of tech giants banning the sitting US President of the United States from all of their social apps, Silicon Valley exposed the power they hold globally by collabatering an effort to not only silence the powerful man in the world but actively take down their own competition so that he did not have the ability to use their platforms either. 

Facebook, Twitter, Google, Apple, and Amazon combined their powers to launch one of the greatest attacks on speech and expression in our country’s history. You think that is scary power? That doesn’t even scratch the surface of what these companies are capable of right now. If tech giants wish to have you digital erased from existence today, they could and there is nothing that you can do about it. Republicans would do nothing to stop them outside of a dog and pony show congressional meetings and Democrats would cheer in the streets if you were banned tomorrow.

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In the film, A Program named SeeChange is a small camera that can be used to monitor people and follow them in real-time whether they know it or not. All of the information collected from these devices is taken by a corporation to use at their will while the citizens connect and compete with one another. This part of the film is not fiction, it is reality, the only difference is that corporations use your phone rather than a shiny clear ball.

If your smartphone is an Android or an iPhone, congratulations, you are actively being watched and controlled by either Google or Apple. Almost 3 billion people worldwide have smart smartphones and the overwhelming majority of them are subject to this duopoly. The reality is we surrendered our privacy and our rights to these corporations decades ago. When you go into a store, as you leave, Google asks you how your visit was. You are being tracked 24/7 by a GPS tracker controlled by Google that you can not turn off even if you do so manually. 

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When you add apps to your phone, Google and Apple make note of all the information you enter and save to their own servers. When you log into Instagram and take video and pictures of your every location, Facebook takes all of that information. When you purchase your brand new Alexa or Fire TV device, you have just bought a listening and tracking device controlled by Amazon. 

It may be too hard for normies to believe that people would buy a tracking device that collects all of their information for companies and government while they sell it to the highest bidder, but if you put all of that scary tech invasion into a phone built in Snapchat and Youtube apps, no one thinks twice. 

At one point the film has a sequence where using their tracking cams, they find and hunt down random people all on the whim from a command from the corporation. This would never happen in real life, that is too silly, right? Wrong, the art of doxxing is something that people have been dealing with from quite some time now. You see if you were to demonize any person through the use of our news media, especially the 24/7 ones, you can make a sizeable portion of the population hate anyone enough to the point where you can request your own citizens to find, attack, and report anyone who doesn’t follow the rules of a controlled society.

How many people have called the cops on their neighbors because they had 7 people in their house since COVID has begun? How many people use Google and other means of data gathering to publicly expose and attack a person who said someone offensive on a social media app? How many people have you seen physically attack their fellow citizens in the streets because they didn’t wear a mask like the people on television told them to do? People in 2021 are easier to manipulate and control than at any point in human history. 

The Circle isn’t an act of fiction, this was someone from the inside trying to warn the public that this is their reality. The only unbelievable thing about the film was a 20 year old woman being the one to bring down the Silicon Valley Kabal. 

Most people are not mentally or emotionally strong enough to come to terms with the scary reality that they live in today and helped create, so instead, they cope by convincing themselves that films like this are just a work of fiction that this would never happen in real life as their retreat back to their Apple TVs to watch Disney Plus…These people could never live a world that surrounds them so they choose to live in ignorant Prozac induced bliss.

I originally gave this film a 1 out of 5 based on the basis of Emma Watson’s soulless performance but in just three short years, this has become one of the most timely movies of the 2010s. People are going to be more awake to Big Tech tyranny now more than ever before, the question is, are we already too late?



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4 thoughts on “Retrospective: The Circle (2017)

  1. I loved the book and was dismayed when Emma “The Wood Plank” Watson replaced Alicia Vikander in the lead role before filming started so I didn’t watch it. I will do now!

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