The last thing I want a biopic to do is to build on a person’s real-life image rather than having a character of its own. Or scratch that, the last thing I want a biopic to do is to try to be “inspirational”. And that Aaron Sorkin was approached to write the screenplay for Jobs only demeans the film further.
We are first introduced to Steve Jobs as a myth using the classic narrative device, he is seen only from a distance with the foreground of the frame occupied by out-of-focus figures of the attendants of the iPod launch event, introducing his own Xanadu to the world. Here’s a film that clearly knows both the classic (Citizen Kane) and the modern (The Social Network) biopic methods, and yet, it’s astounding the vacuous hokum it turns out to be. The film very early on runs into the routine mode - we have a social misfit who is a computer nerd and a genius at what he does and an as**ole when it comes to personal relationships, the character who drives all the conversations in the film – one who’s always ready with an unerring solution while his accomplices watch in awe and one who gets all the punchlines while those around him gasp and sigh – as if there was a concious effort at recreating the Zuckerberg persona from the Fincher film. It’s a film that confuses absolute opacity for character ambiguity and compromises narrative development for pace - stretches that could have been the dramatic highs are covered through montage. But it’s the broad strokes the film protrays its characters and the drama in that comes across as the film’s biggest transgressions.