Written by guest contributor Cameron Gallagher
Sometimes, every once in a while, we watch a movie, and after it is all over and done with, it stays with us. Circle is an incredibly thought-provoking movie that does just that. Circle is written and directed by Aaron Hann and Mario Miscione and tells the story of 50 strangers who awake to find themselves in a large circle, with no knowledge of what happened. After they begin to die and realize the pattern, the darkest thoughts of society will crutch the passengers in who “should” live and who to die.
After finding this film on iTunes for a very low price I decided to check it out for myself. I love films that have ambiguity. Films that make us think for weeks on end after the last line in the credits, are films that have succeeded! This film did just that. It really explores the humanity and reality within our world. The way we act and think, even if we are afraid to say that. This film succeeds in every way at exposing our deepest and darkest thoughts about others. Who we feel is “worthy” and who we feel doesn't deserve life as it is. The film feels very political, because most of its contents are based around stereotypes, which for me is a little bit of a downfall. Although I think it's a great exploration of human emotion and fear, it just seemed way to much of a coincidence that every controversial human characteristic has a represent invite in this film, but for me it wasn't something that got in the way of the suspenseful story.
Let's talk technicality quick. Cinematography was incredible! Especially because the film has one location. Acting is spot on. Everyone from old people to the little girl are spectacular in making me feel as though these people were truly in this situation. Granted, at times it seemed a little relaxed, but it's a film.
My few issues were in some of the script and effects. Although the script was compelling and suspenseful, to me I felt as though I knew nothing, I knew too much. For instance, this isn't a spoiler, but the film is obviously about aliens who are making humans decide who lives and dies. To me that ruined some of the question and suspense of the film. I feel if the filmmakers hadn't revealed that, I would have been in much more suspense as to what is going on. Also, the effects were…well not so hot. Not a massive issue, but disappointing.
The true disappointment in this film, came with its ending. Without spoiling anything, after over 87 minutes of suspense as to what would be this outcome, with what seemed like an almost “judgement-day” sort of vibe, came an insanely meaningless ending. Not to say it wasn't a surprise and thrilling, but it felt boring and forced. I wish there was more of a twist and meaning.
With all that being said, it was an incredibly suspenseful and thrilling film that really had my heart pumping. I felt its forced politics and boring ending was the only thing that held it back from being a real smash.. It is definitely enjoyable and a must see film. I hope you enjoyed this review and make sure to check it out for yourself and tell me what you thought of the film.
Circle (2015) Writer/Directors: Aaron Hann, Mario Miscione Run Time: 87 minutes