Steve Jobs is a must see film for those of us who take for granted the greatest tool of the 20th and 21st century – the computer. Every morning we blithely turn it on and expect it to do our every bidding. We understandably never think about the pain and struggle of its creation and the men and women who were involved in its birth. Even if you are not a computer geek this film has something for you.
It tells the story of the Apple computer, from the Apple II to the transparent, brightly coloured, original iMac. More importantly, it tells the story of the man behind these computers, Steve Jobs, hailed by some as a visionary and others as a pain in the butt. He is driven by his need to always succeed and never be wrong.
We share his joys and his lows as he relentlessly pursues his dream of a computer in every home, often to the detriment of his colleagues and family. We also are given a glimpse at the man behind the machine, his life and the voices in his head that drove him to success.
Michael Fassbender plays the legendary Steve Jobs, ego-centric, bombastic and career driven. Fassbender proves once again he can play almost anything. His character in this film however is more than matched by his understanding and often exasperated marketing executive Joanna Hoffman (Kate Winslet).
Winslet comes close to stealing this film in many scenes with her acerbic wit and masterful underplaying. Also notable is the inclusion of Apple’s co-founder Steve Wozniak (Seth Rogen) and John Sculley (Jeff Daniels), CEO of Apple from 1983 to 1993. The film graphically details the interactions (good and bad) between these characters.
Directed by Danny Boyle the film utilises close up to great advantage. This technique enables Boyle to convey Job’s inner turmoil. There is also a surprising use of comedy for a film that is billed as a drama. This prevents the film from being mired down and gives Kate Winslet’s character a chance to provide a counterpoint to that of Jobs.
I found myself getting lost with some of the terminology used at times. I am tech savvy, but this was at times, beyond my knowledge (and maybe many other people’s). I also found the end of the film unsatisfying, ending too abruptly. There is a plot line left dangling at the end which indicates that there may be a sequel.
Coming in at 122 minutes, this is a film that never dragged, but entertained and certainly taught me a lesson or two about computing.
Reviewed by Barry Hill
Rating out of 10: 9