Dave Eggers, after A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, was my favorite author for a few years (shut up, it was a different time). Unfortunately, he never really managed to recapture the magic (or his sense of humor) of his debut memoir. You Shall Know Your Velocity was fine. Both What is the What and Zeitun I appreciated more than I enjoyed (great books, but they are both bleak, and by virtue of their narrators and the subject material, Eggers’ voice is missing). Meanwhile, A Hologram for the King was so forgettable that I forgot to watch Tom Hanks’ film adaptation.
I never bothered with The Circle, though I understand it was modestly received. It sounds like a book written to be adapted to the screen, and that’s exactly what has happened here (Eggers gotta non-profit to support, yo!). The film, like the book, is about a Zuckerberg/Jobs-like figure (Tom Hanks) who convinces his employees to live with complete transparency, which sounds like a great idea until it’s not. In fact, it actually has all the makings of creating a totalitarian state.
So, it’s a thriller. Or a thinker. Or a feature-film version of a Black Mirror episode. Something like that. The important thing is, it stars Emma Watson, Tom Hanks, John Boyega, Karen Gillan and that’s enough to get my ass in a theater seat, in spite of the tin-eared dialogue in the trailer.