Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Social Network

Year: 2010
Director: David Fincher
Cast: Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, Justin Timberlake, Rooney Mara, Armie Hammer, Max Minghella, Joseph Mazzello, Rashida Jones

I love Facebook. In fact, I'd like to believe that everyone who enjoys surfing the net and keeping in touch with their friends and family online love Facebook. It's probably the greatest invention for the Internet currently in use.

And now we have a film that follows the birth of Facebook and the drama that ensued between its creators as the battle for its ownership and rights take place in court.

It begins with a Harvard student named Mark Zuckerberg, who after breaking up with his girlfriend Erica, hacks into the university's webpages and steals pictures of the undergraduates to create a website for comparing girls. He subsequently gets punished by the board, but it's just the beginning.

A pair of twin brothers, Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss and their friend Divya Narendra, hear of this and hire Mark to create a website for them, which would be exclusive for Harvard students only. Mark on the other hand decides to take their idea, make the website and exclude them. He ropes in his best friend Eduardo Saverin, who pumps in some money to get the site started. And thus Facebook is born.

Before long, it becomes a big hit amongst the students. Mark and Eduardo become popular, much to the chagrin of the Winklevosses and Narendra, who contemplate on suing the duo. Then Sean Parker, the creator of Napster, hears about the new fad and arranges a meeting with Mark and Eduardo. Mark is keen on taking Sean's advice on how to get financial backing to expand the site, but Eduardo isn't. This is where things get ugly, after Sean inserts himself into the Facebook company and Eduardo becomes a victim.

Acclaimed director David Fincher successfully helms this interesting take on Facebook's history, but credit must also be given to screenwriter Aaron Sorkin, who adapted the book The Accidental Billionaires for his script. What we get is a fast paced and fascinating insight into the creators of Facebook, what they did, how they did it, the trials and tribulations they faced and the legal battle that followed. When I say fast paced, I'm referring to the bullet speed dialogue that the cast throw at each other throughout the film, and amazingly enough the dramatic impact isn't lost at all. And I feel that it's because Fincher has chosen a top notch cast for his film.

Zombieland's Jesse Eisenberg is brilliant as Mark Zuckerberg. Mark is viewed in this story as someone who believes he isn't wrong, and that he doesn't owe anyone anything because he's the smart guy that made it happen. Mark isn't really a bad guy, just perceived as such by the people around him. Andrew Garfield is also equally awesome as Eduardo Saverin, Mark's best friend who helped him along the way and gets screwed over. Eduardo basically is a nice guy who deserved a little more than what he got, and Garfield successfully gets our sympathy here. And what of Justin Timberlake? Well, I'll say that he did a good job playing an asshole in Sean Parker, but I'm not so convinced on him being an actor just yet. He needs more exposure.

To be fair, I'd say that The Social Network isn't one of Fincher's more accessible films, like Se7en or Panic Room. This one falls into the less accessible stuff like Zodiac. But overall I liked this film, the way it was handled, crafted and presented to the audience. The fact that the real Mark Zuckerberg claimed that this film is more fiction than fact makes you even more curious as to what really happened back then.

So go see this, even if you're not a Facebook fan. You won't regret it. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to post this review on my Facebook wall. (4/5)

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