"Steve Jobs" (2015)- Movie Review

Directed by Danny Boyle
Written by Aaron Sorkin (based off novel by Walter Isaacson)
Starring Michael Fassbender, Kate Winslet and Seth Rogen

‘An Insightful Look at the Life of a Genius’

When it comes to the most influential people of the 21st Century, a list would be incomplete without Steve Jobs. The late co-founder of  the company Apple, Steve Jobs was a pioneer of the digital age who left a lasting impact on the field of technology. Through his passion, intellect and relentless drive, he introduced the world to the endless possibilities offered by technology. Ever since his death in 2011, his ideas have continued to inspire individuals to this day.

However, Jobs’ determination to be successful came at a cost. Due to his hot-headed personality, he often treated employees unjustly, betrayed friends and struggled to care for his family.

Danny Boyle’s latest film “Steve Jobs” explores this little-known, yet controversial aspect of the entrepreneur’s life. An intimate look at the life of a genius, it focuses on the personal hurdles that Jobs had to overcome to become successful. Instead of covering significant events in Jobs’ life like a traditional biopic, this unique film focuses on his personality. Jobs was a complicated person with an intense personality; he would be affectionate at one moment but insulting in another. This personality is vividly portrayed in the film through a tense atmosphere, sharp dialogue and an outstanding performance from Michael Fassbender. Although it is slightly exaggerated, this enlightening film captures the essence of one of the most fascinating figures of the 21st Century.

Based on Walter Isaacson’s acclaimed novel, “Steve Jobs” follows a unique structure that is a departure from typical biopics about real-life figures. Set backstage at three product launches from 1984 to 1998, the film traces the life of the famous innovator over the span of fourteen years. It focuses on Jobs’ workaholic lifestyle, and how it strained his relationship with friends, colleagues and particularly his estranged daughter.

It is difficult to do justice to a real-life figure, especially someone as famous as Steve Jobs. There is always pressure on filmmakers to please fans, friends as well as family of the artist being portrayed. If they cannot satisfy these people, the film is often regarded as a failure. While Danny Boyle’s film has attracted controversy as a result of it’s harsh depiction of Steve Jobs, it does a commendable job of capturing the life of the tech-genius. Each department, from the acting to the story is extremely well-executed. They contribute to create a film that celebrates the legacy of Steve Jobs but also acknowledges his flaws.

Like any human being, Steve Jobs had his strengths and weaknesses. One of the most fascinating aspects about Danny Boyle’s biopic is that it addresses the mistakes that Jobs made in his life and doesn’t shy away from his flaws. When it comes to bringing successful yet flawed real-life figures to the big-screen, nobody does it better than the writer Aaron Sorkin. Known for his honest portrayals of successful billionaires such as Mark Zuckerberg in “The Social Network”, his screenplay injects the film with a heart-pounding intensity. Filled with witty dialogue, brisk conversations and suspenseful arguments, the script is the glue that holds this film together. It provides insights into the personality of Steve Jobs, revealing how he treated family, friends and colleagues on a day-to-day basis.

As far as casting is concerned, they couldn’t have picked a better star to portray Steve Jobs than Michael Fassbender. One of the most dedicated actors working today, he delivers a career-defining performance that will not be forgotten in the years to come. Although he may not bear resemblance to the late Apple co-founder, Fassbender brilliantly captures the larger-than-life persona and spirit of Steve Jobs. Whether it is his relentless drive to be successful or his out-of-control enthusiasm, the actor embodies all the essential qualities that Steve Jobs was most famous for. It’s a phenomenal performance that proves why Fassbender is one of the most talented actors working in Hollywood today.

Speaking of talented actors, Fassbender is surrounded by a star-studded cast that also gets the opportunity to shine. Whether it be the reliable Kate Winslet or the impressive Jeff Daniels, each actor does justice to their respective role. However, the most surprising standout in the cast is Seth Rogen in a role that requires him to shed his comedian persona. When it was first announced that he was cast in the role of Steve Wozniak, the closest friend of the late Apple co-founder, many felt he was miscast. At a first glance, the goofy comedian did not seem like the appropriate choice to play such a coveted person. As it turns out, we were doubting his abilities. Given the chance to show dramatic range, Rogen proves that he can handle drama not just comedy.

Thanks to the efforts of these committed actors, there is never a moment when you’re bored while watching “Steve Jobs”. At a running time of two hours, Danny Boyle’s film is fast-paced and entertaining from start to finish. However, the film moves so fast that at times it can be hard to keep up. If you’re unfamiliar with Steve Jobs’ career at Apple, you may find yourself lost at certain points during the film. The film will also not appeal to those looking for a historically accurate biopic. Whether the portrayal of Steve Jobs in the film is true to real-life is questionable.

Nevertheless, for those that have always wanted to learn about the tech-genius “Steve Jobs” is a must-see. With respect and admiration, director Danny Boyle has constructed a heartfelt tribute to one of the most influential people of the 21st Century. As is the case with any biopic about a real-life person, one can’t help but wonder what Steve Jobs would have thought of this film. Although he was notoriously a difficult person to please, I have a strong feeling that he would have appreciated it.

4/5 stars

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