Director Joshua Michael Stern, screenwriter Matt Whiteley, and actor Ashton Kutcher combine forces to tell an interesting story about a man who struggled to change the world through technology. “Jobs” depicts Steve Jobs’ journey in creating the well-known company Apple Inc. After seeing his friend, Steve Wozniak, experimenting with a new concept of computers, the two begin forming a company. Over many years, disappointments, struggles, losses, and career coups, Jobs finally succeeds in achieving his goal of continuously changing and improving technology.
“The fruit of creation. Apple.”
Movies that are in the vein of tributes or biographies usually go either really well or really bad, especially when the focus is on such a recent, prominent figure. There is always the underlying question of whether or not the portrayal of this person and the events are accurate, but this review will not focus on the factual accuracy so much as the quality of what is presented.
Screenwriter Matt Whiteley did something that deserves credit: he doesn’t shy away from the traits of Jobs that are not-so-great. He devotes time to showing Jobs’ struggles in his personal life with issues like alienation, loneliness, and near-constant anger.
Jobs is, however, also shown as a visionary with a lot of time spent on speeches and grand statements. To be fair, it does seem like many of Kutcher’s lines are near-direct quotes from Steve Jobs himself. However, this combined with the repeated montages can be a little repetitive when watching a film that is 128 minutes long. The structure is meant to show that Jobs was passionate, determined, and full of ideas, which it does. Yet, it almost seems as though they are reasserting, after every bout of his questionable behaviour, that he is still a great man. That, in part, is where the facet of the movie being a tribute comes in.
Kutcher is mainly known for comedic roles so it’s nice to see him taking on something decidedly more serious and dramatic again. He expresses his emotions very well and when he cries in various scenes it doesn’t seem forced. Kutcher also changes the way he talks to sound more like Jobs. He did this fairly well because instead of being boisterous like his typical characters, he sounds much more soft-spoken. That being said, sometimes the way he speaks sounds a little awkward.
The Verdict on “Jobs”
All-in-all, the acting is well done. The subtle details included make this screenplay interesting and informative, if somehow intellectual. However, it seems like this film is suited for people who are very interested in Jobs’ life and career. Without this added interest, the movie will come across as a nice, moving biography but a biography nonetheless.