Computer boffins are the new gods. Developing a cult following, some have revolutionised the way society works. Steve Jobs was one such person. A major driving force in Apple computers, his digital ideas sparked discussion on how to further the computer market. Making such a person seem interesting is difficult for film although ‘Steve Jobs’ gamely tries. Attempting to strip away the techno-babble to present an intimate portrait, ‘Steve Jobs’ reveals a seemingly ordinary person with an extraordinary mind.
Developing a passion for technological advances, Steve Jobs (Michael Fassbender) pushes his theories to the limits. Helped by friends Joanna (Kate Winslet) and Steve (Seth Rogen), he puts his thoughts into action. Creating new ways of using computers, his vision sees him become a celebrity. Preaching to the masses, the computerised religion following his wake reaches an apex. Soon personal issues threaten to derail his work as the computer age runs towards its zenith.
Directed by Danny Boyle, ‘Steve Jobs’ occasionally offers an intriguing insight into a genius. Although terrible at personal relationships, his passion for computers shone. Like most artists of any persuasion, his self-belief in creating his own work of art caused angst with those with whom he dealt. Boyle’s direction teases out these elements well even if overall ‘Steve Jobs’ doesn’t really work. Fassbender and Winslet in particular work hard in humanising someone who the history books are already putting into saint-like folklore.
‘Steve Jobs’ falters in the way it tells the story. As usual with biographical films, it assumes certain conversations and events for dramatic purposes. Sometimes this works although take away his technological talents, Steve Jobs wasn’t as fascinating as others believed. Basically an emotionally blank-slate, Jobs’ sparse interaction with his friends robs the movie of any impact. This results in an often slow moving film resorting to long speeches and a jumbled time-line fleetingly showing Jobs at work.
Perhaps one needs to be a die-hard fan of the subject to appreciate ‘Steve Jobs’. Offering only a modicum of viewing satisfaction, the big screen treatment of his endeavours falls flat. If he had created an app for making such bio-pics more exciting his skills may have delivered more awe than this stilted film.
Movie Review Rating out of 10: 6
Movie Review by Patrick Moore
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