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Interview with Director Joshua Michael Stern for JOBS (2013)

Stars: Ashton Kutcher, Josh Gad, J.K. Simmons

PG – 13, 122 min, Biography, Drama
Directed by Joshua Michael Stern

“Jobs” truly propagates a sense of inspiration to pursue our dreams despite of life’s challenges and difficulties. Furthermore, at the very least, we do get the picture that it is a tough balancing act to separate the man from the myth! ~ Beau Behan


“Jobs” is an inspirational film with a raison d’être of providing all of us a reaffirmation that our dreams and ambitions are not that insurmountable. Dare to dream, and always have your eyes on the prize regardless of the ebbs and flows. In the same fashion, Steve Jobs had a vision, and his rise to the top as a technological icon was full of trials and tribulations relating to his mystique both as a human being and an innovator.
The film opens with a brief prologue showing Steve Jobs (Ashton Kutcher), in his late 40’s, in 2001, wearing his favorite dress-down clothing combo: black turtle neck and blue jeans. This is one of his finest moments as he introduces the new and revolutionary iPod music player to the world. The film then bounces backward to a young Steve Jobs about to become a Reed College dropout.
The subsequent acts chronicle Jobs’ ascension from his early bohemian lifestyle into one of the technological oracles of our time. With this trajectory, the film also shows Jobs developing Apple Computer in his parents’ garage with Steve “Woz” Wozniak (Josh Gad), dealing with his controversial 1985 firing, founding of NeXT, and finally returning to Apple in 1996.
Kutcher’s performance as the young Jobs is natural. He seemingly appears to be more comfortable with this persona in comparison with his convincing portrayal of the middle-aged Jobs. The resemblance is impeccable, and Kutcher’s half-bouncing and half-hunching strides are strikingly well-syncopated with his mannerisms and gestures. One could really imagine the real Steve Jobs. Certainly, these pleasing emotive images are also due to Joshua Michael Stern’s direction. Under his watch, he tirelessly propels the film’s focus to Steve Job’s enigma, fastidiousness, eccentricity, conceit, techno-wizardry, and above all, a no-saint individual. As he has shared during the interview, Job’s life story reflects a “Shakespearean theme”—a King gets banished but regains the throne in the end.

The screenplay attempts to explore the naked truth about the man and his genius. However, in the process, it has effectuated more questions rather than answers to Job’s mythical life. One important pivoting element of the film is Job’s relationship with his daughter. It is suggested that for many years, he has not cared to acknowledge her; lest alone, to see her. Suddenly, at the end, it shows their reconciliation with tenderness and care. With respect to Wozniak, how did he and Jobs meet? What’s the history? These types of obscureness over the story’s human side lacks the gravitas needed to understand the inner-workings of the man, himself.
In contrast, the screenplay’s exploration of Jobs’ life in the corporate world has an overwhelming preponderance of showing countless planning, brainstorming sessions, boardroom meetings, firings, and a parade of has-been Apple CEO’s and Chairmen. Moreover, it is, by no means, under par on heralding Job’s accolades as a techno-wizard.
“Jobs” truly propagates a sense of inspiration to pursue our dreams despite of life’s challenges and difficulties. Furthermore, in its endeavor to unravel the enigma, it does offer a glimpse of the intricacy surrounding such an attempt. At the very least, we do get the picture. It is a tough balancing act to separate the man from the myth!

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