Steve Jobs has become an icon in both this generation and the generation before us. Even while he was alive, there was a grand mythos surrounding him. And in the time after his death, his legend has only become grander. In fact, in the past 5 years, there have been two movies and two biographies about Steve Jobs. However, this movie not only reenacts Jobs’ life, but grants us insight into how he thought and processed the world around him. For 122 minutes, it is if we are given a front row seat into the life and mind of Steve Jobs. Steve Jobs explores the man behind the image.
The movie is directed by Academy Award winning director Danny Boyle, the man behind Slumdog Millionaire. He is supported by the star-studded cast of Michael Fassbender, Kate Winslet, Jeff Daniels, and yes, even Seth Rogen. Michael Fassbender plays the role of the brilliant, clever, and detached Steve Jobs.
The movie provides keen insight into Steve Jobs by focusing on three segments of Job’s life: when Jobs unveiled the first Macintosh, launched NeXT Inc, and returned to Apple to reveal the iMac. Through the course of these events, we witness Steve Jobs in continual motion as he orchestrates and leads his team to push technology into the future. The cinematographer, Alwin Kuchler, and Screenwriter, Aaron Sorkin (who also wrote the screenplay for The Social Network), demonstrate magnificent shots and story development throughout the movie. The scenes are quick, and the dialogue runs fast. Every single shot, conversation, and scene adds to the overall mood of the film. They all create an atmosphere of anxiety for the viewer. Jobs is perpetually in the process of doing, and like Sisyphus, right as he finishes one task he must begin a new one. As the mountain of unending tasks and problems looms over Jobs, we cannot help but share in the weight of the situation. More particularly, we become distressed about his relationships. He seems to be purposely callous in his behavior. We experience and dread what Jobs is doing to himself and others. And that is exactly how we are supposed to feel.
Jobs’ perpetual motion is not only stress inducing, but thought provoking. Why is Jobs doing all this work? Why is he willing to lose friendships, and ruin his family for his work? Ultimately, it is to manufacture his own worth through his work.
We are given Jobs without any filter. Without any products to act as smokescreens, Job’s in his rawest form. We are given a Jobs who seeks to find identity in his work. Danny Boyle attempts to demythologize Jobs by showcasing this theme in Job’s relationships. He is consistently apathetic and domineering towards others. He threatens the job of one of his workers, and often demeans the closest person he has to a friend in Steve Wozniak (Rogen). The world revolves around his wants, and desires. The chemistry between Fassbender and all the supporting actors make these feelings palpable, and brings these dynamics to life. Kate Winslet and Fassbender scenes together are especially noteworthy. Their relationship does not feel forced, but intimately personal. In the film, Winslet’s character is one of the few people who can actually bear the eccentric Jobs. This relationship provides one of the only faint glimmers of hope for Jobs.
The true beauty of this film is how all of these parts come together to ask the question, “What makes me who I am?” For Steve Jobs, it was what he created. He worked and worked and worked to make a name for himself. to prove that he has worth. All the while, he abused relationship after relationship. He ignored his intrinsic value of bearing the image of God, and opted for his own self made defective image. His creations becomes the tools for his destruction.
Steve Jobs is one of the must see movies of the year. It is both a cinematic treasure and a captivating character study. It will leave you in both awe and introspection.
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He sought to create an image for himself. I left this movie seeing and pondering an impoverished view of self. I left this movie burdened by overwhelming truth that people do not understand their intrinsic worth in bearing the image of God, so they dedicate their lives to manufacture a defective one . I contemplated the terrifying consequences of such a truth. This ultimately led me to the cross. The cross where my Imago Dei is restored, and I am once again brought into a soul satisfying relationship with God. Thus, I am overwhelmingly impressed by Steve Jobs cinematography, and acting, but most importantly, I am thankful for its thematic elements that pointed me to the greatness of my God.