Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Social Network 4.5/5
Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Justin Timberlake.
Directed by: David Fincher.

A story about the founders of the social networking website, Facebook.

Who would have guessed a movie about Facebook would have turned out to be so controversial?
I was unaware of the back story behind how Facebook was created. I knew a few lawsuits had come up over the last few years against it's creator, but i didn't really pay all that much attention to them. After seeing The Social Network, it's almost unbelievable to me how over the top and ridiculous the entire history behind something like Facebook is. All this time i assumed Facebook was the result of one geeky Harvard student [Mark Zuckerberg] who just got lucky by creating a website that happened to go viral across the world. That is partly true, but there's a lot more mud slinging and backstabbing that went along behind closed doors during the process of Facebook hitting the internet big time.

How much of this movie is true is something we may never be 100% sure about. The movie is based upon a book which contains the stories of the people who sued Zuckerberg over the ideas he apparently stole from them. The cases themselves were real, and the people did get massive amounts of money from the lawsuits, so in that sense they were payed their dues FOR A REASON. What does get mentioned a lot in other reviews about this film however, is how accurate the portrayal of Zuckerberg actually is. He is no doubt a genius, but is he the conniving lying snake they show to the audience in The Social Network?..............Zuckerberg doesn't seem to think so from what he's said in interviews regarding the movie. How accurate he may be in the film doesn't really matter though, because the films storyline is based around an actual case anyway, so the stories authenticity is as up in the air as it would have been in court in real life during the trials anyway.
The only part of the story that really made me question just how much the filmakers knew about Zuckerberg, was the inclusion of a girlfriend who breaks up with him during the first scene of the film. She pretty much becomes the reason why the website was created in the first place, and pops up a couple times during the story as an obvious strong link between Zuckerberg and some of the decisions his character makes. There's also an interesting scene at the end of the film, which is one of only a few hints at Zuckerberg having any sort of heart at all throughout the story. In an interview only a few days ago, Zuckerberg denies having anything to do with a girl who influenced his decisions in making the website. Whether or not that's true, it was still an interesting part of the story, and it broke things up nicely.

The film features a fairly low key cast, but they all do incredibly well with the material they are given. Jesse Eisenberg plays Facebook creator, Mark Zuckerberg perfectly. It's his endless smart ass banter that keeps a lot of very heavy dialog filled scenes flowing easily. He was definitely the standout. Justin Timberlake played Napster creator, Sean Parker surprisingly well. I wasn't sure if he'd fit the part, but i think he did. He had some great moments. In fact, if that is how Sean Parker really is? i'd be fucking scared of ever doing business with the guy. What a hideous person. There were twins in the film who did great with their roles as members of the trio who gave Zuckerberg the idea to create Facebook that did a fantastic job as well, but i can't seem to find any trace of them online. I did learn however that they weren't actually twins at all, but one guy who's face was digitally pasted onto a second person, haha. Nice subtle effect.
I've heard a few complaints about the lack of strong female characters in the movie. I'm not really sure if it needed any to be honest, and i don't see why it's even an issue. Maybe there isn't a prominent female character in the story because there wasn't one involved in the real life case to begin with? least that's how i saw it.

Aside from a really engaging story and perfect casting, the movies strong point is most definitely the script. I wouldn't be surprised if it's awarded an Oscar next year at the Academy Awards. Aaron Sorkin did an AMAZING job with the dialog. There are times when you are so immersed in the scenes because of how they're written. I loved it.
David Fincher as usual shot the film beautifully, and Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross created a very cool soundtrack.

It's amazing that someone so socially incapable like Zuckerberg managed to create the biggest online social network in the whole world. Then again, maybe it being online is what made him so perfect at being the person to bring something like that to life. If he's as awkward, blog obsessed and techno geeky as the film depicts him, then he well and truly deserves to sit in his CEO chair at Facebook head office.
It's hard to like Zuckerberg, and it's even more hard to like Sean Parker. Their intelligence unfortunately has a dark side, and with a great idea between friends, comes a lot of arrogance and self importance that leads to a lot of shockingly bad actions within personal relationships.
I can't help but laugh at the irony of it all though, a group of people coming together to create a social website that connects everyone together, yet they themselves seem barely capable of doing that in real life. It's just bizarre, and it pushes the point of maybe having a good helping of REAL social interaction OUTSIDE, instead of just in front of your computer day in and day out.

As much as i enjoyed Inception, it failed to live up to the hype for me. The Social Network however does. I was nearly turned off by how much i was hearing about it, but i forced myself to check it out and i'm glad i did. It was one of the best films of the year.

1 comment:

Misha said...

I'd give it 3.5 out of 5.
GOOD movie, yes one of year's best. Timberlake stood out like sore thumb, for me, though. Eisenberg is a very good actor though.
i too liked the very last scene.