So I just watched Circle (2015) a film that has the great misfortune of having a name that is dangerously close to a film that stars the like of Tom Hanks and Emma Watson. Not to be confused with the bomb that was The Circle, this is a suspenseful Science-fiction thriller directed by the team of Aaron Hann, and Mario Miscione. Circle takes a simple concept: 50 people are placed in a room, each having the power to vote Survivor style which one of them dies and ultimately decide who will be the last one standing.
This is premiered in 2015 at the Seattle International Film Festival, and given that it’s an independent production I think it’s a clever idea, that’s both challenging to produce but also limits itself to a manageable scope. While it’s easy to have only one film location, you then have to know how to keep it visually interesting. Circle honestly reminds me of a lot of things reminds me a lot of the Twilight Zone, Black Mirror, The Hunger Games, Saw, and personally I got the same vibe as a short story I read in school called “The Lottery” which was about a raffle and the winner got stones thrown at them. I feel like if you like what I’ve listed or your the type of person who enjoys watching Survivor or Big Brother for the strategy aspect of “how to play the game” forming alliances pinning targets on peoples back and voting to ultimately give you a leg up then you’ll probably enjoy this. If you’re one who’s like this sounds fun but not with the whole consequence of dying thing I’d recommend going and playing Town of Salem or getting a group of friend and playing Mafia and find out how infuriating the hive mind mentality is. This movie I ultimately feel is just dumb fun, that doesn’t overstay It’s welcome, the fact that it gets political isn’t to distasteful, I think makes sense given the circumstances, and doesn’t get too preachy.
On the opposite side of the coin, I offer fair warning. This movie works best if you recognize that this movie is not “real” people but rather stereotypes. I think the costume design of having a military and police Officer in uniform, you got a gang-banger in a wife beater tee for Pete’s sake, just don’t expect rich and three dimensional characters but rather vague representations of different demographics. I think they try their best to make the space interesting but it is so limited that there’s not much you can do. If you’re not invested in the game play aspect of the film than it’s just a movie where people are standing around an orb and then one person falls down every two minutes. The ending is conflicting, I’m not spoiling it but I have mixed feelings about it, ultimately I chalk it down in the positives but I know for other people ending’s make our break a film and just think that you could be on the other side of the fence.
Why You Should Watch It
Honestly, this film for me at least was a very neutral viewing, leaving me not up to review it at great length or at all as I feel that there really isn’t much to praise or criticize through my experience. But then, I stumbled across the fact that the Directors: Aaron Hann and Mario Muscione along with Michael Nardelli who stars and produced the film gave an extensive Q &A session that you can find on Reddit. I’m assuming that if you found me you enjoy movies but also might be interested in the film-making process. Here you can give insight on shooting schedules, how the film was shot, developing a script, and the creative choices made throughout the process. The film has a manageable run time, and with this alongside it, I think those curious with seeing a film and deconstruct it in seeing the production gears behind the curtain, I do highly encourage you to do so.
That’s all I have to say, I really do hope you give this movie a chance and be sure to spend some time on the Reddit Q & A as it does give a thoughtful insight on how the film was made. Thanks so much for stopping by, and I’ll see you at the movies.