Steve Jobs Man in the Machine: Review


Courtesy of Universal

‘Steve Jobs’ stars Michael Fassbender as the driven Apple CEO.

Rohan Ramachandran, Reporter

On October 5th, 2011, millions of people gathered at Apple stores across the globe to mourn over the death of the Chief Executive Officer of Apple Corporation, Steve Jobs. This behavior caught the attention of many historians worldwide, because in normal circumstances, this kind of behavior would be observed only when a famous movie star or singer had passed away.  However, Steve Jobs was no James Dean or John Lennon. So what had made Steve Jobs achieve this celebrity-like status? Historians assume that it was because people loved the products he created, but director Alex Gibney dives beyond the first impression Jobs portrayed to the world.

Through a collection of speeches and interviews conducted with Steve Jobs and the people close to him, the viewer is simultaneously shown the brilliant man we expected to see, but also an unexpected rebellious character. In the interviews with those who had the “pleasure” of working for Steve Jobs, it is revealed that having Steve Jobs as your boss must have been a nightmare. He made people do the impossible. The workload was unbearable. He made people cry, and he knew how to control the lives of his employees. One employee even reported having lost his wife and children due to the workload he was pressured to complete. Steve Jobs’ legal issues were shared in the documentary as well. Apparently, Jobs had committed many actions of backdating and tax avoidance, of which Apple Corporation was sued for after his passing. Flaws in his personal life were also shared, through the mention of his neglected first child, who was receiving welfare when Steve Jobs’ net worth was $11 Billion. Despite director Alex Gibney’s efforts in maintaining a neutral position regarding Steve Jobs’ ethics, these details stand out to the viewer; they were unexpected of such a great man.

On the other hand, we also see a charming and confident genius who seemed to possess almost god-like qualities. In the film, we hear Jobs explain his philosophies on creativity and life. For me, there is something simply in the way that he spoke that seemed to naturally inspire me. Gibney also shares Job’s’ spiritual interest in the Zen religion, which we assume is where he achieved a monk-like focus from. These are only parts of the reason why Steve Jobs remains an inspiration to us all. This is the man who started Apple in his garage with Steve Wozniak. This is the man who was also fired from the company he started. This is the man, who in his break period from Apple, started two more successful companies, Pixar Animation and NeXT. In 1996, when the financially failing Apple requested his return, he not only saved his company, but initiated a smartphone revolution in the process. How could one person accomplish all of this in only 56 years? At some point in this documentary you’re going to realize that, although he probably wasn’t much fun most of the time, Steve Jobs is the only one who could’ve done it.