Genius. Brilliant. Innovator. These are some of the terms that we use when describing the people who forever changed the world of technology. But we seem to miss the mark quite often when it comes to fully understanding these personalities. Granted, they tend to think about the world on a grand scale, but we forget that, at their core, they’re still human. This idea that genius and human flaws are not mutually exclusive is the central theme of Danny Boyle’s 2015 film, “Steve Jobs.”
“Steve Jobs” is an intense character study of the co-founder of Apple, which follows Jobs through three major project launches in his career, with each one being the engine that drives his turbulent relationships with friends, family and coworkers. The film’s main strength and primary method that expresses this drama is dialogue. Aaron Sorkin’s script features intense interactions between Jobs and well-known presences at Apple such as Andy Hertzfeld and Steve Wozniak, as well as Jobs’s strained relationship with his daughter, who for the first half of the film, Jobs completely denies is his.
Another strength of the film is its portrayal of Jobs himself, not as an icon who is praised by everyone he meets and purges all of the flaws from anything he touches, but as an eccentric visionary that some would argue walks the line of megalomania. Steve Jobs is shown to be a man who demands the world from his employees, often threatening them with public humiliation if they can’t produce results, yet still experiences multiple professional failures.
While the film’s complex dialogue is its strength, it may also be what turns some audiences away. Those going in expecting more action or even events will probably be disappointed, as Sorkin’s script relies heavily on these character interactions to further the narrative, resulting in a movie of ninety percent dialogue. Almost all of the film takes place within the project launch event centers save for a few flashbacks. But those who prefer a more dialogue-driven story will probably not be able to look away from the film as every line serves a purpose and none are simply there for throwaway humor.
While “Steve Jobs” may not satisfy every moviegoer, it well portrays the life of a man who struggled with self-worth but also cared about those close to him and simply could not express it.