Review: Steve Jobs

Michael Fassbender in a still from the movie Steve Jobs | Photo Courtesy:

Director: Danny Boyle

Cast: Michael Fassbender, Kate Winslet, Seth Rogen, Jeff Daniels

Runtime: 122 minutes

Rating: ***

A few minutes into the movie, a cast of characters from three of scriptwriter Aaron Sorkin’s recent exploits flashed in front of my eyes. Standing in front of me were Mark Zuckerberg (The Social Network), Will McAvoy (The Newsroom) and Steve Jobs (Steve Jobs, who I will be seeing much more of in the next hour and a half).

I repeated to myself what that I had heard seconds ago: “If you keep alienating people for no reason, there will be no one left for it to say hello to.” This is meant to be a seminal moment in the movie wherein Kate Winslet (one can never go wrong with her) confronts a fire-breathing Fassbender (near-perfect), the arrogant, narcissistic protagonist bullying a techie into fixing a glitch.

Somehow, I thought that I had heard the line before, or words to that effect. In each of these three works, being said to each of these three characters. And I am willing to bet the array of Apple products that I use that I am right.

When you go to a movie written by Sorkin, this is what you get. The word-heavy script towers over the director and actors, who are forever playing catch-up. After the clunky Jobs that released two years ago, Steve Jobs is yet another study into the mind of the genius. Its conclusion is predictable. “You can be decent and gifted at the same time,” implores the character of Steve Wozniak, Jobs’ partner-in-crime, at one point. Certainly not in the Sorkinian world.

For all its repetition, there are more redeemers in this one. The approach is quite novel. It takes place over the course of three product launches: the Macintosh 512K, the NeXT computer and the iMac, a game changer for Apple. In the way the cast converges in each of the three gatherings, you wonder how plausible it is, even when the movie claims that it is adapted from the official biography of the Apple co-founder.

But you wouldn’t want to nit-pick, for this is more theatre than cinema. And when looked at it that way, you might actually enjoy it.

Summary: An inspired if flawed piece of filmmaking.