Rating: 2/5 stars (Two Stars)
Star cast: Ashton Kutcher, Dermot Mulroney, Josh Gad, Lukas Haas, Matthew Modine, J.K. Simmons
Director: Joshua Michael Stern
What’s Good: The charisma of the revolutionary evangelist who changed the entire digital age. It is the mere aura of Steve which leaves you with goosebumps.
What’s Bad: The film’s fractured screenplay and the narrative that comes without back links.
Loo break: A couple of them for sure!
Watch or Not?: Jobs is an inconsistent film that completely ignores the human touch to it and its titular character. Focusing exceedingly on the history of Apple, the film could easily pass as a documentary on the company rather than a biopic of Steve Jobs. Fishing out for more details on how he was a person, the film simply rambles on about Jobs’ vision of technology which remains sparsely elucidated till the very end. Watch it if you swear by Apple, if not this wouldn’t please you much!
Kicking off with Steve Jobs introducing the Ipod, the film takes back to the time when Jobs is a Reeds dropout. Along with his friend Daniel, Steve takes an enlightening trip to India ala Hippie way! The story then takes you through various phases of his life as you see him working in Atria, to teaming up with his childhood friend Wozniak to create the first prototype of Apple 1. Their incessant journey to creating the Apple 2 and then finally the conception, demise and revisiting of Macintosh – the film tracks the journey of Apple from the scratch to becoming the most valuable company in the world!
As for his personal life, Jobs’ cold demeanor shows as he dumps his long time partner on discovering she is pregnant. Denying paternity for his first child Lisa, Jobs doesn’t paint a very flattering picture of his personal life. However, the man matures into a more responsible family figure in his later which the film traps beautifully.
Watch the film to get an insight into the life of Steve Jobs!
Jobs Review: Script Analysis
Matt Whiteley draws out a severely fissured tale which is over cluttered and lacks innovation in the dramatization of the tale. Given, it is the life of Jobs so much could have been done with the story but the script simply hints at too many things and leaves too many untied strings in the end. The writer merely touches on at Jobs’ turmoil over his adoption, his chemistry with Apple Co-founders and mostly his professional rivalry with Bill Gates, without expounding it any further. An extremely insipidly written film, that definitely doesn’t include any charismatic instances of the man, whose life could be translated with so much more vigor, the script itself settles for mere basics of his life than going for the bits which makes him legendary!
However, the film does well in portraying him as a visionary. The story trails along convincingly in parts where Steve despite being an asshole proves his genius’ repetitively. But then again, it strives too hard on having you awed that it almost misses to mesmerize you. It is a compelling story told so plainly that it will almost offend you that the film could not use well the magnanimous caliber of his biography!
It was pretty much a one-man show as expected, but the interpersonal relationships were left in the blur. There is greater heart in the songs of Bob Dylan and Joe Walsh that plays in the background, than in the film itself as it negates most of the soulful parts of his life. The 10 most significant years of Jobs’ life – from when he resigned from Apple to his journey to ‘neXT’, could not find a place in the film’s screenplay at all. It is a quite a stark shock when Jobs, whom you perceive as a detached man suddenly bonds with his estranged daughter and turns into a domesticated variation of his previous self who almost seems unrecognizable in the first shot.
There are innumerable discrepancies in the script that hinders you from getting wholly overwhelmed by it. In the most apparent level, the film fails to touch your heart at all. There is great passiveness in the way Jobs is told, and that perhaps fails to do an inkling of justice to the man who surely is a colossal figure larger than life, and way beyond Apple!
Jobs Review: Star Performances
Ashton Kutcher’s opening scene is awkward as he grouches, trying hard to impersonate Jobs. But as the story flows, the similarities between their looks become more obvious. Ashton isn’t fantastic but he easily moulds himself in the titular role. There is a lack of intensity and passion in his acting, and he falters at way too many places – from when he breaks down in his car to when he fires the best programmer at work – but in a few scenes he is mind blowing. His communicates better with his eyes as he shrewdly manipulates his way into things to garner power. There are a few wonderful scenes like when he first strikes a deal with Mike, that will make you wish his overall charisma didn’t wear down!
Josh Gad is perhaps the most heart wrenching character in the film. Fitting enigmatically in the role of Wozniak, his character is vulnerable and fantastically sketched. He is funny and Gad plays it with the right blend of emotion!
Durmot Mulroney is utterly wasted and the rest of the star cast barely finds a place in the film to get any attention!
Jobs Review: Direction, Editing and Music
Director Joshua Stern fails to work off a good film from a script that botched. The film, that sticks mostly on the surface, doesn’t qualify as a well made biopic for its inability to infuse in any strength in its plot. As Jobs’ life changes from that of an aimless hippie to a tech mogul, the film settles more for being a story of entrepreneurial success which will inspire start up ventures than an expressive and intelligent biopic! The film’s cinematography is picturesque and the music with its old world charm croons beautifully.
Jobs Review: The Last Word
Jobs is an average film, that has nothing extraordinary about it besides the name tag of Steve Jobs. With a scantily detailed screenplay which tells a detached story of a charismatic tech giant, this film lacks sharpness, wit and edge-of-the-seat quality. Lacking a crisp storytelling, Steve Jobs who fostered perfection wouldn’t be happy with this film! I am settling for a 2/5 for it. Here’s to the misfits and rebels, the trouble makers and the rule breakers – genius is in innovation not in replication! It was quite a blunder when the film’s makers were crazy enough think that they can butcher Jobs’ biopic and still earn praises by using his anecdotes. Such a heart shattering disappointment simply because I was expecting so much more!
Jobs releases on 22nd August, 2013.
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