Featured Post

Letterboxd Reviews

So as you know, I stopped writing lengthy reviews on this site this year, keeping the blog as more of a film diary of sorts.  Lo and behold,...

Sunday, November 08, 2015

Movie Review - Circle

Circle (2015)
Starring a Group of Fifty Actors
Directed by Aaron Hann and Mario Miscione
***This film is currently streaming on Netflix***

Fifty strangers awaken from a drug-induced "sleep" to find themselves standing on lighted red circles, facing one another around a central black orb-like device.  Step off of the red circle, you die.  Touch another person, you die.  As if that weren't bad enough, the strangers soon discover that every one to two minutes they are forced to vote for someone they think doesn't deserve to live and the person who receives the highest votes will die.

While Circle is innately a horror film, it's unlike any horror film you'll likely have ever seen.  Saw comes to mind with its characters needing to turn against one another in order to live, but there's nary a drop of blood here.  Instead, this is one of the talkiest movies I've seen in a while because the entire film revolves around human nature -- how do we see others and do they see us in the same way?  As the fifty people are whittled down to less and less, first-time writer-directors Aaron Hann and Mario Miscione ask the viewers to question what we would do in this situation -- how desperate would we be to survive?

Granted, as prejudices and the worst of human's psyches come to the surface, Hann and Miscione are sometimes a little too blunt and obvious with their reveals of the basest of human reaction/interaction. There are moments where subtlety would've been just as effective for some of the characters as the ungracious tactlessness they exhibit, but overall, Circle proves to be a very unique concept.  With close to fifty speaking roles, Hann and Miscione not only compiled a solid cast of relative unknowns, but the writers impressively and effectively keep the audience completely guessing as to who is going to bite the dust next.  Characters whom you think may make it to the end don't last more than ten minutes and just because they're speaking the most doesn't mean they're going to be staying around the longest.  This is truly the epitome of an ensemble film and the cast for the most part steps up to the plate.

Most impressively to this viewer, for a film that is based essentially around people talking to each other for ninety minutes with no real action so to speak, Circle moves at a relatively breakneck pace.  It was almost an hour in before I looked at how much time was left and I was blown away that I had been riveted as much as I had for so long.  Admittedly, the film falters a bit at the end -- a little open-endedness would've maybe been more effective than the actual ending -- and I still stand by the fact that certain political and societal topics that are brought up are sometimes done too heavy handedly to really be effective, but Circle is a unique cinematic experience that I highly recommend.

The RyMickey Rating:  B

No comments:

Post a Comment