In one of the more disturbing/ prophetic films of the year, Emma Watson is starring in the upcoming ‘The Circle,’ a film about a company who freely trades in the digital information generation by the public on the internet (with the government’s blessing), using that information to keep close tabs on everyone in the world to keep people safe, or so it seems. Why is this a disturbing film? Because it hits really close to home right now due to the recent Congressional vote allowing internet companies to sell our browser and search histories, a story like this could one day happen. And that fact is not lost on the filmmakers or stars, which is brought up by Emma Watson herself during a recent interview with EW about the movie:
“This is not a dystopian future that’s set in, you know, 2050 or something. This could basically be tomorrow. This is kind of an uncomfortably close film about where, if we aren’t careful, we could very easily go. Technology is advancing us and giving us so much and empowering us in so many amazing ways, but it’s also handing over potentially huge amounts of information. And information is power. Even more than money.”
When asked about Tom Hank’s character Eamon Bailey, the head of the company she is applying for in the film (and in the clip you can check out below), Watson stated that he is:
“…an incredibly likable genius, a big brother figure…He has an amazing way of explaining things that doesn’t make it feel like your civil liberties are being taken out of your hands.”
The word “big brother” is not one to be lightly thrown around, but it seems to very aptly fit Hanks’s character in this situation, especially when he and his company are able to take such seemingly innocuous information as the questions Watson’s character answers in the below clip to parse out even more valuable information. What kind of information could be gleaned if you know the right questions to ask? How much can you really learn about a person from their search history? These seem to be the kinds of questions ‘The Circle’ is asking, which might make it a very intriguing film to watch right now, if for nothing else than the timeliness of its concept.
Nick is a freelance writer based in Los Angeles, who belongs to the privileged few who enjoyed the ending to ‘Lost.’ For more of Nick’s thoughts and articles, follow him on Twitter.