If Hermione Granger had gotten ahold of a laptop instead of a wand, she’d likely be one of those idealistic, over-achiever young Muggles powering the world in Silicon Valley. The Circle, an adaptation of Dave Eggers’ dystopian sci-fi novel directed by James Ponsoldt, offers Emma Watson her chance.
In a plot familiar to thousands of rock-climbing, Bi-Rite-frequenting denizens of San Francisco, Mae Holland (Watson), a recent college grad, gets a job at The Circle, a tech company laden with organic snacks, ping-pong tables, and nerdy humor. But The Circle’s commitment to transparency—the company’s motto is “Secrets are Lies”—masks the ambitions of its founders (including Bailey, played by Tom Hanks) for a complete surveillance state. It’s up to Mae and her co-worker Kalden (John Boyega) to navigate just what the internet can do.
The novel, authored by resident Bay Area tech satirist (or curmudgeon) Dave Eggers, offers a dark vision of the web, transparency, and ambition. (Eggers also wrote A Hologram for the King, which Tom Hanks adapted into a movie where he played another middle-aged white guy in tech—that time, one considerably less self-satisfied.) Watch as the trailer transitions from Facebook recruitment video to Black Mirror in a matter of seconds, all to ominous orchestral swells—but be sure not to look the internet in the eye while you do it.
The Circle hits theaters April 28, 2017.
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