Book vs. Movie: The Circle

Hey guys!
It’s book vs. movie time. Today I chose a very recent adaptation released in 2017. The Circle is based on David Eggers 2013 novel. So let’s get down to business!


The Plot:
Mae just got very lucky. Her friend Ally got her a job at the Circle. The single most influential company in the world. They are not only revolutionizing the internet but also the world. Mae is eager to become part of everything circle related and ends up being the flagship of the company by going fully transparent and streaming every aspect of her life…


Book vs. Movie:
David Eggers wrote a fascinating and dark novel that hits the spot. He brings up so many ideas and even if some of them may sound a bit weird or ridiculous at first, I am convinced that the world he pictures isn’t far away. What he mentions feels very credible which is exactly why this very Orwellian story is so scary.
While is ideas are highly intriguing, his characters are not. Especially Mae, the main character, seems to be incapable of forming a single (critical) thought of her own. She annoyed me just so much, I wanted to smack her and shake her. I understand that the only way for the story to work like this is a characters like hers, but still – Eggers had me rolling my eyes at her several times. Let’s be honest, not everything makes sense to 100% but it’s still a very good book.
However, the movie is a bit of a letdown. While the in the novel Eggers takes his time to let the full implications of everything sink in, the film presentation just sucks. They somehow managed to make it all sound boring and bring it up at such rapid speed you don’t even have time to consider what it means before they move on to the next bit. Emma Watson as Mae is not quite as annoying which might me due to the fact that we don’t have to hear her every thought. But in general, Watson’s performance is – just like the rest of the film – somewhat boring. The cast is so promising but not even Tom Hanks or Karen Gillian save this thing.
But let’s get to what bothers me most about the film: the plot changes. First of all the whole Ty/Kalden situation doesn’t make much sense and has just about no impact on the watcher. While in the novel it was supposed to be a huge plot twist and kept up the suspense for a rather long time, everything was given away within the first ten minutes. Moreover, the new ending is simply the worst. While Eggers went the whole way with his rather dark theme, the movie makers just didn’t have the balls. It’s a thing I’ve encountered before in book adaptations. It seems like often Hollywood thinks the viewers are a bit stupid so they have to change the ending and spell out explicitly when something is bad. I get that a “happy-ending” might attract more viewers but it certainly didn’t do the film any good.

The novel was intriguing and scary. The movie was a huge bore and ruined the whole story. This adaptation had all the potential in the world but couldn’t live up to the expectations.


Did you read the book? Watch the movie? Let me know in the comments what you think!

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One thought on “Book vs. Movie: The Circle

  1. Pingback: Top 5 Tuesday: “Unputdownable” Reads | The Punk Theory

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