Sunday, February 21, 2016

Film Review: Steve Jobs (2015)

Copyright: Universal Pictures
In the modern, still somewhat death-centric culture thanks to 2000 years of Christendom, deceased are both revered and explored. No matter if those people are dead musicians like Michael Jackson or Kurt Cobain, or if they are leaders of industry, like Jobs, there is a strong magnetic pull that keeps people from allowing them to be forgotten. 

It does not only this but also somehow forces the public subconscious to dig through their lives and looks for clues, even though there are no real questions anymore, at least not any that are relevant to them.

This grave digger approach is the reason why a lot of films about real people end up either half-cooked, like The Imitation Game or weirdly (but clearly) disjointed from that actual woman or man as Lone Survivor.

 However, Steve Jobs was created by Danny Boyle, one of the best directors working today, especially when it comes to those who meander when it comes to genre. He, as a great scholar of films (I believe he is, at least) knew that already people tried to tell the tale of Jobs and failed.

So, instead of making a grand picture about a genius who created barely anything himself in a technical sense, but successfully “played the orchestra” to build a business empire, he made a small tale about a father and a daughter. This tale isn’t set in the wide open world but on stages and backstage areas of the venues where Job held seminal presentations about Apple products. Starting in the 80’s and going all the way to the period before the launch of the iMac, the film juggles the business dealings of the man with his shifting approach to a little girl who is his daughter (even though he denies this at the beginning).

Here, the talent of Michael Fassbender works wonders as he presents a man who will never be an open book, even to the people who knew him best. As Jobs, Fassbender is likable and deplorable, soothing and poisonous, depending on the need and the situation. But, at all times, he is alluring, like a light in a dim room that beckons people to him even when he acts like a complete ass. The rest of the cast is equally interesting and gives the film a very elegant and unforced cognitive quality without any flash or bang.

There is controversy about the film and some believe it to be a misrepresentation of the man. But, we are a culture who loves to explore its dead, so I’m certain that there will be other works which deliver into the life of Steve Jobs. That’s fine by me, as long as they are all as good as this one.


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