Film: The Social Network

Posted on November 17, 2010

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The Social Network
Directed by David Fincher (2010)
jusco’s Rating: ★★★★1/2

Many would probably agree with me that upon hearing David Fincher was directing a Facebook film, there were two general reactions:
1) a Facebook film?? are you kidding me??
2) David Fincher and Facebook?? shouldn’t it be David Fincher and provoking thrillers, like Seven or Fight Club or Zodiac??

Well, Mr. Fincher, you have officially and successfully pulled it off, and we’re more than willing to shut up now.

This is a film based on the founding of the Internet social networking phenomenon site, Facebook, which I highly doubt needs an explanation (unless you’re one of the rare few not in the overwhelming 500 million who has an account). But please be aware, this is far from factual. If you’re looking for a faithful documentary or biographical film that portrays the humble beginnings of the website and the eventual lawsuits over the disputes about who actually owned the shares, you’re looking in the wrong place. But if you’re looking for a film that is intelligent and witty, you’re in the right place.

(The beginnings of Facebook started in the humble dorms of Harvard)

I emphasise again that this is a smart film. In fact, probably much smarter than what most people are used to, but the genius of the film is how it is able to effectively bring us along with the fast paced turn of events without confusing the audience. It contains brilliant dialogue that must be attributed to Aaron Sorkin, the scriptwriter. From the first scene, you are already thrown into a world of highly astute and quick-witted conversations. But then again, this is Harvard; can you expect otherwise?
(‘Eduardo’ on the left and ‘Mark’ on the right; co-founders but eventually lawsuit rivals)

Apparently, Jesse Eisenberg’s portrayal of Mark Zuckerberg was far from accurate; the real-life Mark Zuckerberg is known to be quiet and reserved. But this can be easily overlooked for Jesse Eisenberg’s execution is in perfect style: quick thinking, witty and though at times irritating, eventually wins the audience over to symphathise with him. Andrew Garfield had a relatively easy character to play, Eduardo Saverin, the rich businessman who supports Mark but eventually sues him. But Justin Timberlake – I had no idea he could act so well – was the standout. His character, Sean Parker (the founder of Napster), is so charming to the point of annoying, and he played his role very cleverly.

(Justin Timberlake as ‘Sean’ on the left)

This film does make you think about the constantly evolving world of technology that is currently dominating our lives. It causes you to question the issue of privacy, the issue of morality and the issue of Virtual vs Reality. How many profiles portrayed on Facebook are similar to the person in reality? How different? How can this type of social networking site benefit us, or even harm us? Is our society too reliant on said site or is it a perfectly harmless way to interact and socialise, to make new friends and acquaintances? Just a few questions to think about.

The Social Network has been described as a cinematic masterpiece. That it is.

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Posted in: 4.5-stars, film