Title: Circle of Steel
Director: Gillian McKercher
Starring: Chantelle Han, Tina Lameman, Peter Skagen
Runtime: 1hr 25min
What It Is: A young engineer goes through the motions of her job day-to-day. When review time comes around and there is talk of massive layoffs,–to her family and friends’ dismay — she keeps her paranoia at bay until it’s too late.
What We Think: Wendy (Chantelle Han) has a bit of a sad repetitive life, but that doesn’t make it a bad life. The overarching tone of the film is melancholic and the flow of the film contributes to that. The second act is long and drawn out and the only time you’re reminded of the catalyst is when a character mentions layoffs, which they do every 20 or so minutes of the film. The big questions while watching this film are: is something going to change? Is there anything to excite Wendy beyond her day in and day out routine? And while there isn’t, there is something about the subtle humor, the honest reflection of millennial dating, being a young worker amongst well seasoned co-workers and the casual but not overdone drug use that is… comforting? When watching this film, it feels like you’re watching someone’s real life. Not like a documentary, but like a vlog, minus the melodramatics of a Youtuber. And all the while you’re hoping Wendy doesn’t get laid off because nothing else in her life seems to bring her joy. Circle of Steel (2018) is relatable, but there aren’t any exciting conflicts or triumphs.
Our Grade: B, So this isn’t a bad film, it just isn’t something we as consumers are used to. In fact, Americans tend to favor feel good movies while many movies that come out of Europe don’t always end well. This film happens to come out of Canada. I would still recommend this film because it’s important to view relatable content and to remind ourselves that not everything needs to include explosives or hard to recover from tragedies. Sometimes you just need to see someone else on the verge of losing their job and how they handle it to remember that you are capable of conquering such a real scenario when adulting too.