“It’s like 5 minutes before every launch, everyone goes to the bar, gets drunk, and tells me what they really think about me.” And thus, we have a film.
In 2007, a 14 year old kid had been literally saving his pennies for the opportunity to be like his friends; by purchasing the coveted IPod Classic (30 GB’s, no less). When the refurbished items were slowly selling out online (the only ones he could afford), his brother lent him the final $10 he needed to buy his very first Apple MP3. After about a year or so, several scratches could be found on it, and it had the tendency to freeze up. But I am pleased to announce, that 8 ½ years later, it still is kicking. What Steve Jobs did wasn’t just create multiple products, he created a way of life in our society, for better or worse.
Let’s get down to the point, shall we? We have been granted with a respectable, intriguing, and sleek film in honor of the late mastermind, Mr. Jobs. But what is especially noteworthy about this film is the way it was made. What it does is pull no punches, neither in the technical department, the thematic department, nor in Steve’s personal life. All these vital and fascinating aspects will be examined, but what ultimately stands before us is the tale of a genius who attempts and fails too many times at being the source of control in his own life. This theme and struggle is what can be so hard to see in this remarkable man’s life…
End Scene 1.
“Wait, what are you doing?”…
“Bu…but..This isn’t a play!” What is your insufferable and amateurish blogger doing to you?
Well, I am attempting to manifest a glimpse into the Steve Jobs experience for you. Since Jobs himself was far from a normal and cliché individual, why should his biopic be any different? And therein lies the majority of individual’s problems with the film Steve Jobs. It is very different and artistically odd when comparing to films dealing with real/historical figures. It is set up more like a play than just a film. In fact, it is set up in three large “sessions” right before the genius goes on stage to display a new product. Within these three (30-40 minute) conferences, it seems that all of Steve’s struggles with coworkers, relationships, his products, and even his own mentality all come to center stage for him to deal with in the most ill-timed moment possible. In reality, this is probably not how his actual product shows went. But that is the intriguing element that director Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire, 127 Hours) and the top notch cast of Michael Fassbender, Kate Winslet, Seth Rogen, and Jeff Daniels all have presented this day. Almost theatre staged, yet helmed by an appropriately Apple-sleekness to it. Even cooler is the clever camera work, which appears grainy and vintage in the 1980’s timing, but slick and modern for the 2000’s scenes. Cool, right?
What can I say that hasn’t already been screamed regarding the stunning cast? Both Rogen and Daniels do a great job in their supporting roles, but ultimately this is Fassbender and Winslet’s show. They both work miraculously off each other in some of the finest, mature, and meaningful performances I have seen from 2015. But who I just might think may be the real star of this film is the ingenious writer, Aaron Sorkin (The Social Network, Moneyball, A Few Good Men). If you are willing to be patient with this unique and ambitious take on a biography (I won’t lie and say that it is perfectly easy to watch/hear only constant dialogue), you will see how fantastic Sorkin’s work is. Being an amateur blogger, reviewer, and even preacher/presenter, it is hard to come up with new and clever ways to present the “same ole” information. His work and creativity sure is something I admire and covet. It makes the 25 or so F bombs within it an even worse travesty when I think of it in those terms. But ultimately that’s what my Clearplay/Vidangel is for…
End Scene 2.
Now, back to the focus of the film, Steve Jobs, and his incredibly distant and skewed understanding of what a man ought to control in his life. Because, as he is of reminded of time and time again throughout the course of this film, he borderline considers himself a god. Like I said, it never pulls punches when it shows that he can be, and usually is, quite the scumbag many had speculated. Ultimate, he is a man who wants full and 100% control of every area of his life; his relationships, his computers, his publicity, and even his past. When it comes to his work, when his friend tries to tell him all he is doing is using people to make a product, he merely describes himself as the “Perfect orchestra leader” of the creation. But what is blindingly obvious is that he is far from the “All Powerful” being he reveals himself to be. While this film focuses on these struggles in how it relates to his business and products he created, but more importantly to the young girl who is his daughter (though he denied that fact for a while). The film continues to use its characters, whether with good or ill intentions, to inform him that he can in fact be a good man, and not just a brilliant man. And while he deems it an impossible task, it will be this father/daughter relationship that will ultimately put that question mark to the test.
In a world where everyone puts their own ambitions and own strength into their own hands, it is nice, and sometimes sobering to know that we can’t control everything that can and will happen to us. We are reminded of God’s words to Israel through Isaiah, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (55:8-9).
As the late inventor learned, according to this tale, there are some things in life that are far more important that just what a man makes. Sure, he will be remembered for being harsh, difficult to work with, and arrogant. But there is no denying how genius and and immensely important Steve Jobs’ achievements truly were. Here’s to hoping he truly learned the importance of life in his day! So, while most biopics tend to merely shine the facts and the story line of an acclaimed individual across the screen, Steve Jobs merely wants to reveal his soul. And while it may be a flawed and at times appalling, it still is a very human, and undeniably brilliant soul.
End Scene 3.