As “The Circle” envisions it, technology’s dystopian near-future is already here.The movie, which opened Friday in the US, imagines a world where the mightiest tech company cajoles us to willingly abandon privacy. As the megacorp embarks on moonshots to promote democracy, protect human rights and provide digital convenience on steroids, a few characters suspect it’s covering up sinister motives, like crushing adversaries or accumulating wealth. No. Freaking. Way. Don’t fault the filmmakers if that revelation feels tame. The objective of a tech thriller shouldn’t be an award for peering most presciently into our digital downfall. For mainstream viewers, “The Circle” likely provides an entertaining critique of where tech could take us. But to the tech savvy, many of the movie’s dark prognostications feel pretty familiar. The upside? Tech geeks can still relish playing “Where’s Waldo?” for real-life tech references. In “The Circle,” “Harry Potter” vet Emma Watson plays Mae, a young woman rescued from the drudgery of temp jobs when she’s hired at the Circle, the world’s most progressive tech company. After one of the Circle’s products saves her life, the company’s leader, played by Tom Hanks, recruits Mae for an experimental project. She’s the first person to “go transparent,”… Read full this story
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