I kind of get why the movie fell flat–the source material wasn’t much to pull from.
There’s an intriguing concept here. Imagine all digital connection (social media, searches, communication, commerce, streaming) was conducted through a single entity, here called The Circle. It started as an idea to dissuade trolls (forcing everyone to use their real, verified identity online) and has quickly evolved into a for-profit company that has a near monopoly on the internet. With your real identity, you can access everything you need to quickly and conveniently and it is so quick and convenient because it all runs through a single source. The Circle is as good as it is because it hires the best and the brightest and yadda yadda yadda.
Our protagonist is Mae, a young woman with a seemingly worthless degree from a great-on-paper school, and the debt to back it up. A good friend of hers is able to pluck her from her terrible job and land her at The Circle where as time passes the company demands greater access to her and greater commitment from her and she just … says yes? I get that it’s hard to recognize cults from the inside, but girl, this ish cray. It seems like they bring on their upper management more for manipulative abilities than broader competency because these folks can guilt her into aaaanything. They get her to apologize for rushing off to aid her ailing father rather than first reaching out brand-new coworkers, total strangers, who might have advice. It’s some next-level brainwashing and it happens fast.
It is still an interesting read and I did like some elements. I’ve known some folks who work at Big Name Firms and the idea that these companies only hire the best and the brightest just reaffirms for their employees that they are the best and the brightest and it makes for a pretty insufferable cycle. As Mae rises in the company, it makes since that she would pick up speed down the path they’ve set her on–after all, if this behavior is what let to prior success, then more of that behavior would logically lead to more success, right? And I do belong to the generation that so readily shrugs off privacy concerns because we’ve grown up handing over our information. So again, elements of this work for me, what I didn’t understand was where and how Mae got hooked so badly and that kept me safely at sneering distance.
It’s a fairly short, quick read. A good one for travel. Moderately thought-provoking, but ultimately forgettable.