Jobs is a very interesting film to watch. But, this is particularly because of its portrayal of the development and history of Apple. It is also interesting, in a negative kind of way, in its portrayal of the character of Steve Jobs himself.
He was a very significant figure of the 20thcentury, the film having the courage to simply entitle itself, Jobs, rather than Steve Jobs. Everyone is expected to know who Jobs was and something of what he achieved.
The film opens at an Apple staff meeting in 2001. Steve Jobs shuffles in his characteristic, slightly Neanderthal, stooped way of walking. He addresses his troops, challenges them, promises them something creative and new, the iPod, and energises their enthusiasm by giving statistics about how many items were sold, millions of them, in that year. By the end, we realise that this is something of a thumbnail sketch of Job’s biography.
But then the film goes back to the mid-1970s, Jobs as a young man, inventive and managerial, but unable to settle down to his formal studies. With his good friend, Daniel, he travels to India. Though we don’t quite see how, it has something of a transforming effect on the young Jobs. He returns and knuckles down to hard work. It seems he has found himself, at home in the developing information technology world.
At this stage, the review should include some praise for its star, Ashton Kutcher. Most audiences would see Kutcher as a lightweight, a performer in romantic comedies or some thrillers, as well as on television in Two and a half Men.
However, in that opening sequence, made up to look like Jobs and giving his speech, we realise that this is a much better Kutcher performance. But then we go back to the young man and see the Kutcher with whom we are familiar. But, as the film progresses, he immerses himself in the role and we appreciate that we are looking at an excellent portrayal of Steve Jobs.
The film is significant in its presentation of the history of IT developments in the United States and the establishing of Apple. However, on a personal level, like Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook in The Social Network, the central character, though a supreme achiever, is a very difficult human being - Peter Malone, ACOFB
Starring Ashton Kutcher, Dermot Mulroney, Josh Gad, Lukas Haas, J,K.Simmons, Matthey Modine, Lesley Ann Warren, Ron Eldard, James Woods, John Getz, Victor Rasuk, Eldon Henson. Directed by Joshua Michael Stern. Rated M (Coarse language and drug references). 127 minutes.