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Jobs

17 Nov

Steve Jobs (played by Ashton Kutcher) is a bit of a mis-fit – not in the classical sense, but in that he’s never satisfied with “it can’t be done”. It’s 1974 and Jobs is a university student who’s always bucking the system, arguing a point with lecturers and generally being a “pain in the a***”. His lecturers see the potential in him but despair at his total lack of social skills, personal hygiene and general awareness of himself. He has a vision to make computers much easier and far more accessible for people, rather than for big business, so he sets out to make it happen. From grass-roots beginnings with a techy mate, Steve Wozniak (by Josh Gad) and with little more than an idea, his father’s garage and a soldering iron, Jobs and Wozniak make the most of like-minded experts they convince to join them, canny business acumen and dumb-luck to produce a new innovative product – the personal computer. Jobs and Wozniak struggle to get backing for their new venture until Mike Markkula (by Dermot Mulroney) appears, then things really start to take off. Before he knows it, Jobs is into really big business – but his one vision remains – make it better and easier – make it cool – make people want it, even if they don’t know they want it yet …

For anyone remotely interested in the enigma of Steve Jobs, this movie will be quite fascinating. Jobs lived in an extremely high stress, high anxiety and totally manic intellectual world – in some senses, it’s not that surprising that his body developed a serious illness when it never really got a chance to rest. Ashton Kutcher is remarkable as the focused and single-minded Jobs, he does a good job here. Steve Jobs doesn’t come out of it smelling like roses – in fact he’s portrayed as a selfish, insensitive man with no feelings for people, only his product – but I do suspect it represents a balanced view of the progression of the Apple company, competition with Microsoft and the development of the innovative Apple products – which significantly changed the way people interact with technology. Unfortunately, to me, a shortcoming of the movie is the director’s very strong assumptions that the audience will know who each of the characters are and how they impact the story. As soon as each appears and introduces themselves, there’s a clear “pregnant” pause for impact – as if the director is waiting while the audience “ooh” and “aah” their recognition – but perhaps I’m wrong. In my case, I didn’t know who they were – I did soon learn as the drama played out – but I did find the presumptions a bit irritating. At the end, it’s clear to see that the actors were selected not only for their acting prowess but also their uncanny physical resemblance to their character – Kutcher particularly, and they are all well matched. The movie plays a lot like the 2010 movie “The Social Network” about the development of Facebook – and Steve Jobs is portrayed as having a similar regard for the product and business, to the detriment of friends, colleagues and relationships. It’s a dramatisation of the biography about Steve Jobs written by Walter Isaacson.

Made in 2012. Directed by Joshua Michael Stern.

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Posted by on November 17, 2013 in Movies

 

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