Starring: Michael Fassbender, Kate Winslet, Seth Rogen
Director: Danny Boyle
Running Time: 122 mins
Steve Jobs is an American film following legendary tech wizard Steve Jobs during the minutes before the launches of the Macintosh, Next Black Cube and iMac in 1984, 1988 and 1998, and his strained relationships with those closest to him.
This is an interesting take on the life of Steve Jobs, as it doesn’t take the form of an ordinary biopic, but instead decides to show the man at three distinct episodes in his life. On the one hand, it’s a fascinating character study, but unfortunately, on the other, it’s not a wholly engrossing format, meaning the film is ultimately not as compelling as it should be.
Let’s talk about the three acts that this movie portrays. Firstly, we’re in 1984, where Apple is about to launch the new Macintosh computer. This first act is stunning to watch, because it establishes the main characters brilliantly, shows off its time period very well, and looks into fascinating plots in Jobs’ life.
In the first act, we see Jobs wrestling with his engineers to get the Macintosh to do what he wants with it, and inevitably losing his temper. Then, it delves into his relationship with his ex-partner and daughter, and how he refuses to take responsibility for them. In those two themes, you get to know the character of Steve Jobs so well, learning that he is a hot-headed and egotistical person, but you also find yourself drawn to him given his clear technological genius.
What’s more is that the first act also succeeds in showing off its time period by not only having fantastic costume design, but also thanks to the ingenious idea to film that section on older film. As a result, you get that grainy, but still visible, image that was the norm in the early 80s, and that’s such a subtle but genius touch that pulls you into the period even more.
Now, the second and third acts. By no means are they bad, and there are definitely some thrilling scenes here and there, but what is disappointing is the repetitive feel that you get when watching them. Screenwriter Aaron Sorkin took a gamble by telling this story in such an episodic nature, and unfortunately, it didn’t pay off.
Whilst the first act is thrilling, you get basically exactly the same thing twice again for the rest of the movie, showing Steve Jobs conversing with the same people about the same things, and that just doesn’t grab you as the first act did. Also, the final act is painfully long and drawn out, leaving you unfortunately impatient for the film to finish thanks to much slower-moving dialogue scenes and a repetition of what you’ve already seen.
Despite that, the film is still a good watch, and what really stands out as the best part of all is the performances. Everyone is brilliant in this movie. Michael Fassbender gives a thrilling show as Steve Jobs, presenting him as both a loathsome but oddly understandable man. Meanwhile, supporting players including Kate Winslet, Seth Rogen, Jeff Daniels and Katherine Waterston all give equally exhilarating performances that help to give this film a bit more energy and thrill than the screenplay ultimately offers, and that’s why Steve Jobs gets a 7.8 from me.