STEVE JOBS – REVIEW

The story of one man’s rise to power and total world domination… Well almost.  We follow Steve Jobs and his team behind the scenes during three product launches that helped define his career.  Family drama, heated arguments and infighting unfold.

So, is it any good?YESMost of the world is familiar with his work, but unless you’ve seen the previous movies or read the biographies chronicling his life you may not know a great deal about who he really was. Director Danny Boyle admits that this movie is “not a biopic”.  It is essentially a play broken up into 3 real-time 40 minute acts using a product launch to help define each period – 1984’s ‘Macintosh’, 1988’s ‘NeXT’ and 1998’s ‘iMac’. Straight away you’re thrown in at the deep end of the story, he’s already rich, already successful and due to go on stage at any moment and deliver the speech of a lifetime.steve-jobs-movie-1The first thing I noticed about this movie was the film grain, each time period was shot in the format popular at that time. The Cinematographer Alwin H. Küchler suggested to Danny Boyle the use of these different formats – 16mm, 35mm and Digital.  This technique helps illustrate Steve’s transformation from a young rebel to the genius behind the sleek minimalist technology we use today.  Danny Boyle has described his movie as “a portrait, not a photograph”, and I take this to mean that it’s not a literal portrayal of his life but an interpretation.

Writer Aaron Sorkin used Walter Isaacson’s biography of the same name as a basis for his screenplay but has added his own flair to the story.  As you’d expect from the writer of The Newsroom, The West Wing and The Social Network, Sorkin supplies fast paced dialogue with great one liners that the actors definitely have the chops to deliver. Michael Fassbender took on the role after both Leonardo DiCaprio and Christian Bale declined the offer. I imagine Bale would have played Jobs in a similar fashion to his performance in The Big Short. Although at times it feels like Fassbender is modelling in a photo shoot, he doesn’t look like Steve Jobs, but if he poses like him enough, maybe it will create the illusion. He does however execute Sorkin’s lines with perfect timing and tenacity, playing off Kate Winslet superbly.Steve Jobs (2016) - Picture 11Kate met with Joanna Hoffman, the woman she plays, to try and immerse herself in the role as much as possible and it shows, she’s the strong voice of reason to the unreasonable.  Seth Rogen as Steve Wozniak is good at downplaying his role and even holds back from delivering his patented laugh.  I did expect more drama between the two Steves but both end up repeating the same lines at each other over the years and no one seems to grow or change and they usually part each encounter as friends.  steve-jobs-movie-seth-rogenThere are glimmers of Danny Boyle’s flair scattered thoughout the 3 acts, especially during the passing of time transitions and when he has to explain something more complex or illustrate a point.  For added realism, Boyle used the original locations for each launch, even the audience were made up of extras from the original events.  They were asked to wear period clothing and apparently paid with a sandwich and a single apple.  Combined with Sorkin’s script, Boyle inter-cuts John Sculley’s (Jeff Daniels) argument with Jobs with yet another argument, giving you the feeling like you’re watching a boxing match or an action scene, one great line after another. This movie isn’t all hard edged drama, it delivers some great comedy one liners to help ease the mood.Image 2 - 1621 × 810Steve’s no longer around to protest and I very much doubt this film would have been made with his blessing as it casts him in a less than favourable light, most notably his relationship with his daughter. A flaw of the movie is that characters who you think have no real relevance to the story are suddenly given a backstory through exposition and we’re expected to be interested in them instantly. Not being too well versed with the ins and outs of his life, it would have been nice to have a bit more insight to help establish the relationships, not just a couple of flashbacks. The incompatibly of the apple products with other technology mirrors his struggle with how he interacts with other people. The performances are outstanding and you can see why everyone involved is clearing room on their mantelpieces. It’s not a film about Steve Jobs, more the rise and fall and the rise again of Apple. You’re left feeling that you didn’t really get to know the man himself, but maybe that is the intention.

STEVE JOBS in cinemas everywhere now.

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