For this week’s movie club, we have the possible Netflix gem Circle.
DIRECTED BY: Aaron Hann, Mario Miscione
STARRING: Michael Nardelli, Carter Jenkins, Lawrence Kao, Allegra Masters, Julie Benz
GENRE: Psychological Thriller
COUNTRY: United States
In a massive, mysterious chamber, fifty strangers awaken to find themselves trapped with no memory of how they got there. On that every two minutes, one of them must die… executed by a strange device in the . At first, the attacks seem random, but soon the strangers realize that they, as a group, have the power to decide who will be the neto be killed. A vote. A chance to control the machine. But how can they choose who deserves to die? And what happens when there’s only one person left? Circle is a film about people, how they value one another, and what they do under the worst possible circumstances. A film about what makes us human – who we are, what we believe, and ultimately, the lengths we will go to save ourselves.
The psychological elements, within Circle, are very strong. The dire situation forces the characters to dialogue together. They are hoping to find a way out of the killing room and they soon discover that it is possible for one person to live. Along the way, the try to uncover whether the characters are related to each other. Some, lie about their commonalities, while others have loose connections to each other. One character tries to save his life by communicating his victimization, due to race. However, race has little to do with who is chosen. Only a pregnant woman and a young child seem to have any natural immunization, to being chosen for death. Still, the guillotine must come down on fourty-nine. These fourty-nine must convince the others of their need to live, or they must vote in a block. Biases, including racism, class, sexual orientation and social dependency, all come into play as the beam shoots its killing gaze about the room.
As long as the script has minimal qualities we could have an interesting movie no whether what happened. To pull of something truly unforgettable, however, there really should be more to the story than simple ethics put to the test, and that’s not what happens here. Most of what happens, most of the characters, are exactly as you’d expect them. There’s the ‘let’s vote for the black guy, because I’m racist’, the ‘let’s vote for the lesbian, because God would want us to kill her anyways’, the ‘let’s vote for old people, because they don’t have that long to live anyways’, the ‘let’s save the child and pregnant lady, because they’re worth more’ and the ‘all those reasons are bullshit’ moment. What’s lacking is a serious attempt to figure out a way out, which would add explanation to why they’re in the situation they’re in and which would add further layers of depth to the concept.
- Entertaining thriller elements.
- Psychological ideas.
- Social message.
- Predictable characters.
- Predictable story.
SCORE: 6.0 / 10
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