Episode 461: Goodbye Cruel World. Please Remember to Like and Subscribe.

On the Overthinking It Podcast, we tackle the near-future technological dystopia of “The Circle,” starring Emma Watson and Tom Hanks.

Peter Fenzel, Mark Lee, and Matthew Wrather try to make sense of the frankly incoherent—in both project and tone—film The Circle, an adaptation of Dave Eggers’s satirical novel of the same name.

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The Overthinking It Book Club: George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four

The Overthinking It Book Club returns with a look at George Orwell’s classic novel of authoritarianism and political dystopia, Nineteen Eighty-Four. In four episodes of downloadable audio, the OTI crew dives deep into the strangely familiar world of the story and follows our everyman hero Winston as he navigates the murky waters of loyalty, individuality, doublethink, and thought crime. It’s the perfect counterpart—or corrective to—The Circle.

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2 Comments on “Episode 461: Goodbye Cruel World. Please Remember to Like and Subscribe.”

  1. cat #

    First time I go to the theater to watch a movie since La La Land and this is what happens.

    I’m glad Matt was able to explain the book a bit more. I feel like the movie didn’t find Mercer that insufferable and ended up making him a martyr. It just had a lot of problems with basic storytelling and explaining the characters’ motivations, nevermind making them sympathetic. There were logical leaps in decision-making that I hope were better expressed in the book.

    I totally agree with Pete that the two trainers were the best characters. While I found both the characters and arguments flawed, I think you could at least investigate the arguments a little though they were clumsily expressed while there was nothing to latch onto with the characters.

    Yes! I had no idea why John Boyega needed art history major Emma Watson. And I’m not sure why they kept hinting at a “chosen one” thing where she seemed fairly unremarkable and didn’t seem to have an interest in programming or social justice or anything in particular besides realizing her potential before joining The Circle. The way they shot this movie, it would have made more sense to cast Kristen Stewart.

    I disagree that the movie was intended to be a thriller. Or maybe it was but the other genre pulling away from satire for me was kind of a workplace coming of age story. Think The Devil Wears Prada. Selling the dream job and then having friendships break up and learning about all the downsides of the business. Except it never really leaned into that to make that part of the movie fun. If they had, maybe the switch would have been more dramatic. Instead she just went night kayaking like an idiot.

    On the point about Mae trivializing the problems of other people and mostly being concerned with herself, this is the first movie where very early on, it was jarring how… self-centered she came across. It was a combination of Emma Watson’s acting and the way the camera shot her. I don’t know if it was intentional or they just wanted to play up the star but the camera would lovingly focus on Mae to the exclusion of everything else.

    My lady brain was completely unaware until listening to the podcast that the cars had no identifying marks or logos. My nondrinking self also didn’t notice the brand of wine. It just looked yellow.

    I kind of liked the use of Simple Gifts at the beginning of the movie. Many years after my choir days the lyrics are still imprinted on my brain. It was less effective when it came back at the end of the movie as a sung version with lyrics.


  2. Jay #

    I just got around to seeing this yesterday. It was fun to have someone to talk about this weird, flawed but interesting movie with. This is a thank you from the past. Lol. It enriched my otherwise mediocre movie experience


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