The new Steve Jobs (2015) movie was both a surprising and a moving watch for me. I would heartfully recommend it. These were the things that stood out to me, that actually made Mr. Human or I say in the middle of the movie "Awww damn, this movie is good."
Firstly, the structure of the movie really threw me off. Before watching, I had no clue that it would be a movie that would JUST show the lead-up to three different infamous product launches done by Steve Jobs. I think this would be akin to going into Les Miserables not knowing it a was a musical.
The first act of the movie is this long, beautiful, intense build up as we rush along after Jobs. It's less than an hour to launch to the Apple Macintosh in 1984. The scene is set perfectly, at a time when the computer is on the cusp of a revolution.
Then, imagine my surprise when, after all that, you don't even get to see the launch. It goes straight onto the second launch. I looked at the time on the movie and thought "2 hours of just launches? Are you kidding me??" But the time ending up just melting away; when the movie ended I was genuinely surprised that 2 hours had gone so quickly.
The movie introduces an array of complex relationships and characters almost straight away. These are the characters that we'll grow familiar with, that will come back with each launch and that we'll see morph over the 14 years of the movie.
The first, of course, is Jobs' marketing executive / right-hand-woman Joanna.
The other one I'd like to note is Jobs' family - the ex-wife Chrisann...
And 5-year-old Lisa who Jobs denies being the father of. Repeatedly. In an edition of Times "Person of the Year." In front of her face. Repeatedly.
I think you can see from these stills that the relationships the movie builds are so, so beautifully complex. I think that's a big part of the reason why the movie moved me so much.
That, sir, is a 5 year old girl learning what the "Save" button does for the first time in her life.
Michael Fassbender as Steve Jobs
I think one of the thing Fassbender does BEST is capture the visionary in Steve Jobs. I know everyone always always hears about how he is such a great visionary, about how great he was, how he revolutionised Apple and the world. But, for me, that was always something I just knew to be fact but never really saw.
After this movie, after Fassbender's performance, I could really see it. How this one guy could create companies, products, a new way of thinking that changed the whole world.
There's an analogy Steve Jobs gives in the above scene, based off his real life quote. It goes "The most efficient animal on the planet is the condor. The most INefficient animals on the planet are humans. But... a human with a bicycle becomes the most efficient animal. And the right computer.... the right computer will be a bicycle for the mind."
Boom. There went my brain.
The Music (holy shit)
Alright, I was NOT expecting the soundtrack to this movie to be so good. I will say no more, simply hit the "play" button on the audio below and feel free to continue reading with it on. It was my favourite song from the whole movie, I actually found the song on Spotify and added it to my playlist, I liked it that much. :)
Yes, I'm going to call out one specific scene. It was that memorable.
Joanna confronts Steve in the middle of this empty hallway and he goes on to explain exactly what his vision was. If you haven't watched the movie, this gives you some small slice that I hope will only get you more excited for the movie. If you've watched the movie already, I hope you'll agree with me that this seem was mind-blowingly well-put together. :)
The biographical nature
Lastly, besides all those things, the movie gave me a really deep look into the person who Steve Jobs was. Not the visionary he was, not the entrepreneur/hero/genius he was... but the person that he was. Across these three different launches, we see some hateful moments. The cracks and flaws. The vision and genius beneath the ruthless control.
But we see him grow and change as well. I could really see how he'd learnt and developed from the first to the last launch.
But at the same time, some things didn't change at all during the 14 years. And I liked that. Because, well, that's how human beings are right? We learn, we hopefully grow, we change... but some things will always be a part of us.
Not to say this movie was perfect..
Because there definitely a few things that I found a little odd here and there. Whilst I applaud the directing for the majority of the movie, some of the scenes and lines seemed a bit tossed in. These were few in between though and I would not bring down the movie for this small note.
I was crying in the last scenes because to me, I could feel the depth of the emotions running deep. I personally really, really liked the ending. However, Mr. Human didn't like it so much. In fact, I was trying to explain to him what emotions each character was feeling and why it was so emotional and why it was so right haha.
But I don't want to spoil anything here but I think how you take the ending will depend on how your emotions run as a person.
Despite how Mr. Human and I discussed at lengths the ending and the odd scenes, in the end, we still both really really liked this movie. In fact, I liked it so much I want to read the Steve Jobs biography now, to find out even more.
I thoroughly enjoyed writing this review. I don't often review things, even though it's always in my mind that I want to review this movie or that book. But getting to reflect on this movie, getting to rediscover the little things that I enjoyed so much the first time around, felt really really nice. I think that must be what a good movie does, excites you to think more about it and share it.
So if you want to find out more about Steve Jobs as a person or just watch a really good movie with complex characters, then go for gold with this one. :)