|Steve Jobs (2015) takes us behind the scenes of the digital revolution, to paint a portrait of the man at its epicenter. The story unfolds backstage at three iconic product launches, ending in 1998 with the unveiling of the iMac.|
The most important thing to know about the 2015 take on Steve Jobs is that the movie focuses almost entirely on his Steve Jobs’ personal life, which both helps and hurts the movie. After all, Jobs was a man of many facets and he arguably spent the least amount of time worrying about his personal life. This focus is also what makes this movie so interesting, however. Most people know the other sides of Steve – the self-destructive artist, the visionary and the businessman. So Steve Jobs (2015) decided to take a much closer look at the side we know less about.
They seem to have done a good job capturing a man troubled by his family. Not only that, but troubled by human interaction in general – not surprising given his genius and the lack of human understanding that geniuses typically show. The movie did a great job emphasizing both his talents and these serious flaws that many of us have come to know in glimpses, often overshadowed by glitzy product launches.
The movie revealed the internal battle between an open and closed system, each championed by their leaders – Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs, respectively. It was very interesting to see that despite Jobs getting all of the credit for innovation, it was in fact Wozniak that pushed many of the “compromises” that ultimately allowed Apple to survive. Apple’s close control of their ecosystem (hardware and software) has been a big reason for their success, and yet Steve Jobs’ close-mindedness was also a major liability over the years. It was the closed system that was the very reason for Macintosh’s failure and the Apple II’s success. To this day, Apple continues to tear down the walls of their walled garden, propelling them to new heights of popularity, while maintaining ownership of the core hardware and software.
My biggest gripes with the movie are that it ended with much of the story left to be told. Ending in 1998 after the iMac reveal, there were many big moments in Apple’s history after that time. For example, itt would have been nice to know more about Jobs’ illness and how he coped with it. Even the personal aspects of his life seemed rushed to a conclusion at the end – perhaps at the expense of accuracy.
Michael Fassbender’s performance is reason enough to give this movie a watch. However, it is certainly more of a rental than a must-see in the theatre.