Film Review: The Social Network
10/11/2010 Leave a comment
Full Title: The Social Network
Director: David Fincher
Comments: The Social Network has been hailed as a film that defines a generation and to me regardless of whether you like it or not, it is. Facebook is a part of our lives and for many it is our lives. Admittedly, I check my Facebook page at the very least a few times day. Such a phenomenon deserves its own film- even if the events depicted occured less than a decade ago and the plot itself is based on a novel (The Accidental Billionaires by: Ben Mezrich) released just last year. Everything is happening so fast! Yet, this ultra fast, in out, in out :) pace is perfect for the story or message the writers, filmmakers, etc are trying to articulate to the masses: the rampant releases of everything Facebook is a good metaphor for how quickly our modern world functions. Despite the fact that this is extremely recent history, I can’t imagine a more appropos time for its release. Now, it should be known that this film embellishes what happened in real life; it’s part fact, part fiction. In other words, the story was spiced up a bit to make the film a far more fascinating experience for all of us. I suppose one could compare this to the previous film I reviewed, Oliver Stone’s The Doors (1991) in which what appears on screen is more a “vision” of the actual events. So, with a few lines, let me tell you that the story begins in 2003 with Harvard undergrad, Mark Zuckerburg (Jesse Eisenburg) feeling disgruntled after being dumped by his girlfriend, he starts to drunkenly blog about her “lessr” qualities and soon finds himself creating a new internet sensation in “Facesmash,” in which his fellow male Harvard students can compare pictures of their female counterparts and vote for which one is more attractive. Within mere hours the site receives thousands of hits and ends up crashing the system. Mark is sentenced to six months of academic probation and understandably becomes a pariah. Not too long after this incident Mark is approached by a trio of Harvard students: Identical twin brothers- Cameron Winklevoss and Tyler Winklevoss (Armie Hammer) and their friend Divya Narendra (Max Minghella) looking for a programmer for their upcoming website, Harvard Connection. Mark accepts their offer, but eludes their subsequent calls, meanwhile he enlists his buddy, Eduardo Saverin (Andrew Garfield) in assisting him with his latest project, “The Facebook,” essentially initiating the social network phenomenon we know of today. The rest of the film consists of simultaneous court cases with the Winklevoss brothers and Eduardo filing lawsuits against him over Facebook. Literally, we are bombarded with both cases at the same time; the movie goes back and forth, back and forth, leaving us feeling as overwhelmed as Mark. As a character he is quite fascinating, throughout the movie he is always searching for the meaning of “cool” and in many ways that is exactly what Facebook is: the supreme network of cool. Oddly enough, from start to finish Mark, it seems, never actually is “cool,” always an outsider (sometimes physically as metaphorically suggested in one of the party scenes where everyone is celebrating inside his house, while he is on the outside, simply observing. In essence, that is in actuality what Mark’s life becomes. He may not be cool himself, but he is the one who has created cool.
Grade: A, the best (or at least my favorite) film I’ve seen all year.
This was one of my favorite trailers from this year, so rarely do trailers entice you with something else besides the actual scenes themselves.