The Billion Dollar Man: A review of Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs (2015)

Steve Jobs (2015)

‘Steve Jobs’ is no ‘The Social Network’, a film I love very much, but it shouldn’t have to be. This is a great film, with a lot of verve and style, and whilst it may have its faults, it’s also presented in a grand, and thoroughly engaging way.

What’s most interesting, and something I didn’t know was going to happen before it happened, was that the film is divided into three big acts. Each act, told in the run up to three of Job’s key product launches, are set in essentially one location for each. Jobs moves around these vast locations, concert halls mainly, going from dressing room to back stage, popping outside or going onto a roof.

It’s a very interesting and adept way of structuring the film, following a sort of conventional three act structure by having Jobs develop as a person over these three time periods. From his arrogance at the launch of the Macintosh, up to the release of the iMac many years later, we are shown Job’s life in bursts of time, not only witnessing him grow up, but also witnessing the development of his daughter, and their unsettled relationship.

It’s a fantastically crafted script from Aaron Sorkin, his handle on all of the intricacies of developing life are great to watch, the way in which characters come into each act, seeing that their lives are now different, whether being fired or getting a better job. Their lives weave around that of Job’s, he’s the one we follow every step of the way, as characters come into a scene, leave, then come back in after, building the realism of the venue, as they come into the story naturally.

The noise of the venue is the hustle and bustle of the crowds, the milling about of people, we believe this is a real place, and a real event, with Jobs the key player in this part of history. As he says in the film, “Musicians play their instruments, I play the Orchestra” and he’s right, he may not have written the code, but he brought everything to life.

Fassbender is great as Steve Jobs, he plays the arrogant aspects of the character well, but when it comes to being vulnerable, he also knows how to master that. Perhaps the biggest problem with the film, any film like this, is how realistic is it to the real life events and people. Do we really believe that Jobs was this unlikable? Maybe, maybe not. As a person he was human, and therefore flawed, but as a movie character, he is well crafted as a genius who is highly abrasive, but ultimately the conductor of modern times.

The other performers are all great, Rogen and Winslet in particular fit naturally into the film, you forget the comedy presence of Rogen, and don’t doubt for one second that Winslet doesn’t belong there. Director Danny Boyle has done great justice to this script, the beautiful cinematography and vibrant, graphics and imagery compliment each other, the performances feel natural, and on balance with the tone of the material.

The music by Daniel Pemberton is also an interesting blend of techno themes and classical music, like The Social Network, it captures the fast and energetic world that the film represents.

Whilst it may feel at times like it’s dragging its feet around, looking for a message, in the end, it’s a satisfying, accomplished, and uniquely structured movie that I respect, if I’m not completely in love with, about a man who has changed the world.

Rating: B  7/10

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