It’s official! Dave Eggers’ 2013 masterpiece The Circle is going on the big screen this year. Director James Ponsoldt, who has The End Of The Tour (2015) under his belt, will grace us all with what I hope turns out to be the visual equivalent to quite possibly the best book I have ever read. Interestingly, Dave Eggers has written several reviews on Infinite Jest, David Foster Wallace’s everlasting novel that deals with similar themes that arise in The Circle. As Ponsoldt takes on another mastermind’s work, I am eager to witness what the film has to offer.
Now in post-production, the film will include Tom Hanks as the all-encompassing Eamon Bailey, Boyhood’s Ellar Coltrane as my favorite character, Mercer, Doctor Who’s Karen Gillan, and Star Wars’ John Boyega as “Kalden.” Without spoiling the complex and genius plot, I will leave you to figure out why those quotation marks remain. Last but not least, the main character Mae will be played by none other than Emma Watson. It takes a lot to make me want to read a book in its entirety. HoweverEggers, straying from his colleague Wallace’s long-winded style of writing, gets down to the point with each encounter Mae faces, which drove me to turn the pages faster than I have ever been inclined to with any other book.
The plot resonates deeply with a society so consumed by a virtual world. The young Mae Holland lands a job at the only company that really matters, The Circle. Pioneering apps and devices are created here, like tracking systems that will create safer environments for children and inescapable surveillance devices.
Eggers writes of the dangers that lie within technology. Have we become slaves to black screens? In today’s mobile world, do we draw a line between public and private? Between how engrossed so many of us have become in social media, making it our life’s mission to gain followers, likes, comments, attention on our selfies and the nightmare of identity theft many of us have experienced, is there such a thing as privacy? Do we have a choice of who receives information about us and our personal lives?
If you think about it, someone is always listening one way or another. Dave Eggers explores those dangers, allowing his readers to decide at what point a high-tech utopian society turns into a dystopian trap that grabs hold of us and begins controlling human activity. Our technology-ridden generation may be contributing to a more glorious and bright future full of hidden cameras tracking every step we take and every decision that we make.
Are we just too blinded by smartphones and deafened by earphones closing us off from each other to realize the danger in that?
After reading this insightful and eerie novel, I think so. If the book isn’t enough, maybe the movie will wake us all up. James Ponsoldt, don’t let me down.