Steve Jobs takes us behind the scenes of the digital revolution, to paint a portrait of the man at its epicentre. The story unfolds backstage at three iconic product launches, ending in 1998 with the unveiling of the iMac.
This film isn’t exactly meant to show how the history of how Apple Inc. came to be as it is really a dramatisation of the unveiling of new products at three different stages of Jobs’ life but they do hone in on the smaller emotion scenes, in which the best are between Steve and his daughter, as well as the larger moments that drive the story forward. It is very much like that of a three-act stageplay. His relationship with his daughter is a heartwarming subplot woven through the films multi-strand plot where at first, in the early 1980s, he refuses to even acknowledge that she’s even related to him and accuses her mother of sleeping around. He’s a very brutally harsh man that’s forced to be humbled after his eventual firing from his company and because of this and how he bounces back to bring success back to Apple, the father-daughter relationship is rekindled as he tries to apologise for all the previous years of separation and essentially reconnect.
At these these three moments, we are clearly shown what era they reflect in how they are shot. The first moment where the new Macintosh is being unveiled in 1984, the film is grainy and very reflective of that time. As the second moment where he unveils of the “Cube” from his new company, NeXT computers, after being fired from his own company in 1988 and third moment of Jobs now back at Apple whose now back as the CEO of Apple about to release the iMac in 1998, it becomes clearer and more focused, showing how director Danny Boyle used cinematography and the quality of the picture to reflect the time and place the scenes were occurring along with the costume and production design.
I really like how this film was presented at three key moments of Jobs’ career at the presentations he gave but as it was filled with so much dialogue, like it is expected of a Sorkin penned script, I felt a little tired, worn down, and sometimes overwhelmed with information. If you like the types of scripts that he writes (like that of The Social Network, The West Wing, or The Newsroom), then this is something you might appreciate, although I do think this is more dialogue driven then many of his previous efforts.
The fact that Michael Fassbender isn’t exactly a Jobs look alike like that of Ashton Kutcher in the 2013 Jobs outing isn’t exactly an issue as how the events are told effectively to the audience in three precise moments instead of stretching itself across too much of a length of time. Fassbender excels with Sorkin’s scripting as he presents an arrogant man whose extremely difficult to work with, revealing a side that us as the audience may not have known.
This is a film that is worth seeing and one that you have to be very awake and switched on for to gain the breadth of information delivered to us.