Nov 1, 2010

[Movies] The Social Network (2010)

The Social Network (2010)Facebook is the biggest things since, well, I dunno. Social networks are always hit or miss when you get down to it - some succeed while others fail. Of course Facebook stands out compared to the others given how wildly successful it has gotten by making sure that the experience started in an exclusive, controlled setting and then grew from there.

Like any other tech giant, the story behind the origins of the company have piqued the curiosity of the world. One author or documentary filmmaker or another have tried to reveal more and more insights into the history of Facebook from different perspectives or angles. Some of them good, some of them bad - it's just the way that things go. Who knows what stories are actually the real ones - we tend to gravitate to the more interesting, controversial or probably exaggerated ones. Everyone loves a scandal after all.

It was pretty surprising how quickly this movie came into being, but then again Facebook is popular enough to get a priority budget and shooting schedule. The end results were pretty interesting and it does make for a rather entertaining movie.

The Social Network is a movie about the creation of what is now the world's most popular social network. It was directed by David Fincher (of Se7en and Fight Club fame) based on the 2009 non-fiction book The Accidental Billionaires written by Ben Mezrich.

Quel ricco sfondato di Mark Zuckerberg, founde...Image via WikipediaThe movie starts with Mark Zuckerberg (Jessie Eisenberg) getting dumped by his girlfriend Erica Albright (Rooney Mara) due to his obvious lack of social skills and his near-obsession with getting into the exclusive Harvard clubs. In a drunken rage (or whatever you want to call it), Mark goes on to create a site called FaceMash where users can vote on which of two female Harvard students are hotter. The site goes viral overnight and managed to crash the Harvard network, thus making Mark infamous at the same time.

His work gets the attention of Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss (Armie Hammer) and Divya Narendra (Max Minghella) who want to put up their own social networking site called "The Harvard Connection". While agreeing to do the code work for The Facebook Connection, Mark gets an idea for a different social network called "The Facebook" that he pitches to his best friend Eduardo Saverin (Andrew Garfield) in order to get his help to finance the site. He agrees Mark works on the coding of the site while he keeps the twins at bay with delaying messages. Things get complicated once The Facebook goes live in 2004 and the twins realizes Mark may have potentially stolen their idea.

The movie is told from the perspective of flashback scenes mixed in with the "modern" day moments where Mark and his legal team are facing two lawsuits. One is from the Winklevoss twins alleging Mark stole their idea of the Harvard Connection to create the exclusive social network that became The Facebook. The other is from his former best friend Eduardo who is suing Mark for control of the company as well. How things got to this point is initially unclear but Fincher will take us to that point in the story throughout the course of the movie.

Jessie Eisenberg is brilliant as Mark Zuckerberg. Sure, I have no idea if he really acted that way in real life, but it was quite convincing that's how somehow would behave if he was technically proficient and brilliant as people say he is. While his character's obsession with social relevance through technology may not be an accurate depiction of why Facebook was created, it did provide an interesting angle of character evolution for Eisenberg.

Andrew Garfield was also pretty compelling in his depiction of Eduardo and his descent into a more and more marginalized member of Facebook's management team totally works. I look forward to seeing his future projects including the planned Spider-Man movie reboot. Justin Timberlake's Sean Parker was, well, just him being a dick, which he can pull off apparently. Then again, I doubt this is really a major stretch of the imagination given his colorful history.

The whole moving is gripping from start to finish and points to Fincher for making sure the movie didn't drag. Given the subject matter, it could have gone the other way, but Fincher's skill and genius certainly came to light in terms of how he deftly steered the whole story to its ultimate conclusion. And the soundtrack was wonderfully appropriate to nearly every scene and it certainly helped things along.

The Social Network is an excellent drama with an exciting story to tell, whether or not it's true. It gets 5 silly moments with the Winklevoss twins out of a possible 5.

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1 comment:

  1. Most memorable musical moment: the regatta to the tune of 'In the Hall of the Mountain King' by Grieg!