“Let the hacking begin”
#4 of David Fincher Series
The Social Network is not a film about a website. In fact, Facebook is really near the bottom of the list of what this movie is about. It’s a huge component of course, but really this a movie that is centered around ambition, deceit, friendship, and enemies. No one will know for sure whether it is truly an accurate portrayal to how Facebook really began, but it’s a thought provoking story for sure that Fincher executed perfectly.
Plot: Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg) didn’t know that he would be the world’s youngest billionaire when he first started a little social networking site called TheFacebook, naming his best friend, Eduardo Saverin (Andrew Garfield), CFO. With this billion dollar idea in motion, a whole order of events begins to unfold. With accusations that Zuckerberg stole the idea and fellow website creator, Sean Parker (Justin Timberlake), stirring the pot between Mark and Eduardo, deception and jealousy all begin to show in the leading players of the site. With lawsuits in action, we see the transformation that takes place in these relationships from beginning to end.
I have to say that The Social Network was one of my favorites, if not my number one favorite, Fincher film that I watched this month. Although of a different nature than the director’s other greats, The Social Network is very capable of standing side by side next to Fight Club and Se7en as a truly great film. It has a great story where everything from the script to the acting was spot-on. It’s way above and beyond being labeled as “The Facebook Movie”, as it is truly some great filmmaking coming from an amazing director, screenwriter, and cast.
I knew I had to see this movie when I found out that Jesse Eisenberg had earned himself an Oscar nomination for his performance as Zuckerberg. I thought to myself “Really? That awkward, type-cast kid from Zombieland?” (Not saying anything bad about Zombieland, it’s a terrific flick). After watching it though, he truly surprised me. I knew he was a good actor but he proves himself in this movie to be serious about it. His portrayal as a socially awkward genius is brilliant (pun intended), and he gives the character an almost robot-like aspect to him, in a good way. It’s one thing as an actor to wear your heart on your sleeve but another thing to be completely devoid of human emotion and Eisenberg does it wonderfully. He comes off as cold and straight-forward, but we still feel a bit of compassion for him and we still can’t help but kind of like him.
Garfield and Timberlake were great as well, with Timberlake surprising me most. He also proves himself with this movie that he is capable of being more of an actor than his past projects lets him on to be. Garfield was an actor I haven’t really seen much of, besides last year’s The Amazing Spider-Man. With this performance it’s no wonder he was chosen to be the current Spidey and I’m sure we can expect to see a lot more of him in the future! Along with Rooney Mara as Zuckerberg’s ex-girlfriend in a couple scenes, this was definitely the right cast for the job. I wouldn’t expect anything less from a David Fincher film, though.
Aaron Sorkin’s script is what really drives this film, though. I checked out a DVD copy of this movie from the library and it came with a second disc full of special features. I watched the hour and a half “behind the scenes” making of the movie and in it Sorkin says something along the lines of “I love dialogue. To me it sounds like music.” I thought that was a really clever and odd thing to say but if you listen to the dialogue in the movie then you can see exactly what he is talking about. The flow between two characters having a conversation with each other certainly does have that “musical” quality Sorkin was describing, in which you can feel a sort of “rhythm” between them. I really enjoyed the structure of the whole movie in general, in which the current time is during Zuckerberg’s lawsuit depositions and long flashbacks are used to tell the story of how they got there. I think this aspect really presented the story in a suspenseful and exciting, yet focused, way.
Conclusion: The Social Network is the best example of a modern-classic. It’s a film that is especially applicable in this day and age because of our current society’s obsession with Facebook and social media, but at the same time has all the elements of a film that make it memorable for decades to come. All in all, this isn’t a movie about the creation of a website, it’s a movie about a young man’s ambition, his stop-at-nothing attitude, and how the relationships around him were affected by it. It’s a fascinating story, brought to life by Fincher who has now established himself as one of the biggest directors in the world of entertainment. If not for him, Sorkin, and some amazing actors, this film could have been merely labeled as “that movie about Facebook”. But it’s not. They took this story and made it into great filmmaking in general that will be talked about for years to come.