Cast: Ashton Kutcher, Josh Gad, Dermot Mulroney, Lukas Haas, Matthew Modine, Victor Rasuk, Nelson Franklin, Eddie Hassell
Director: Joshua Michael Stern
What's it about
There are two ways to watch Jobs. One way is to forget everything you ever knew about the man and the other is to watch it as a geek who has followed his life story, YouTubed his panel sessions and speeches at education institutes. Either way, Joshua Michael Stern's biographical ode to Steve Jobs only offers slices of what the man might have actually been.
Like every other story based on a real person, the film in a span of 120 odd minutes tries to offer us an array of glimpses into the rise and fall of this multi millionaire. Ashton Kutcher plays the lead role doing the home work watching the clips and footage of Jobs, copying his walk, the look he gives when he knows someone is incapable of being perfect, or that glint in his eye each time he spots a genius.
We begin with his garage days and meet his friends who later on become peripherals in his big story. There is enough drama to keep you engaged in the first half. Battles with his own board and other companies, his failure to acknowledge his own child, the consistent need for perfection and brilliance and some candid moments showcasing his dark sense of humor (the snigger when he lays someone off), the phone call with Bill Gates, are few of the many real life instances picked up from Jobs life.
If you ever wondered how the Macintosh came into existence, or were curious to know about some of his monstrous failures, then Jobs has enough fuel you can feed off. There is a sense of staying with the man as he puts together that motherboard, or sketches a machine into existence.
We know greater things are lined up ahead, but even the small successes seem sweet. Camera work is poetic with the angles and stark close ups and fade outs showcasing different shades of Jobs. The back ground score, especially the violin piece in the first half despite being dramatic is stirring.
It was a risk from the very beginning. While books and interviews of Apple employees might have given the film makers enough material, they are unable to work with so much information. So we are left with half of everything, be it his personal life, the professional graph, relationship with his friends, there is never a sense of completion with any of these tracks.
We wish we got to know the Jobs who put up his feet (never wore shoes while at work) picked up a beer bottle and made a couple of jeers at rival companies Ashton Kutcher might look the part and there is a monologue or two that he delivers in the same pitch as Jobs, but he struggles through most of the film.
Also the pace is a major dampener, especially the portion leading to the end. The Jobs that stays with us in the end wasn't a happy man, he comes across as a manipulative power hungry business guy who climbed to the top making sacrifices of his own people who helped him walk on the pathway to success.
What to do
Jobs feels like a dinner date where the person picks up your tab and leaves before you get through the soup! We wish there was more candour and less trickery in this biopic.