In 2013, American author Dave Eggers published The Circle, a novel named after the Internet company that its protagonist, Mae Holland, works at. The novel has been both criticised and celebrated, with The Times’ Ellen Ullmann’s stating that Eggers tends to overexplain and Margaret Atwood praising the way he “treats his material with admirable inventiveness and gusto“. Now, three years later, the first teaser trailer for the movie adaptation has dropped. But what is the story even about?
The Circle as a company can best be described as a mixture of Facebook, Apple, Google, and Ebay – it’s essentially a company that streamlines your internet experience by unifying all of it in one single place. The company is lead by the so-called Three Wise Men, but it also has an inner circle of around 40 people to which Mae’s friend Annie belongs. It’s also Annie that gets Mae her job in Customer Experience where eager to please Mae quickly starts to shine. At the same time, the company pushes out more and more new technology, including the tiny, wireless SeeChange cameras that are meant to support democratisation all over the world through allowing everyone to essentially see everything. As Mae gets involved with one of her coworkers, she also starts to feel the repercussions of the SeeChange technology in her own life.
Check out the trailer:
Starring Emma Watson, Tom Hanks, John Boyega, and Karen Gillan the teaser captures the simultaneously exhilarating and disconcerting atmosphere of both the novel and the company itself. Over the course of the trailer, Mae goes from wide-eyed wonder to wide-eyed shock while her grandfatherly but cool boss explains that while knowing is good, knowing everything is better. There’s a chance that, much like the novel itself, the movie becomes too in your face about its message. At the same time, translating the story from page to screen might give the characters exactly the room to speak and breathe and act that they occasionally don’t have in the book.
I’m personally really excited about this movie – some scenes from the book still haunt me and I’m curious to see if their adaptation is just as haunting. Let me know what you think about the trailer by itself and the book and idea of that book as a film in the comments!