Sunday, October 10, 2010

Review: The Social Network

Grade: A+

At Harvard in the fall of 2003, computer genius Mark Zuckerberg sits down at his computer and heatedly begins to blog and create a website that compares the female undergrads at Harvard based solely on appearance. The website explodes and Zuckerberg quickly gains attention of everyone at Harvard, for the better and worse. He then comes up with a new idea and quickly goes to work on it. The idea is simple, create a website that is exclusive to Harvard students that people can go to check on what their friends, or people they’ve just met, are up to. As soon as the website goes live it spreads like wildfire across the Harvard campus and the website quickly begins to grow and expand. However, with all of the success that the Facebook brings to Zuckerberg, it also brings a fair amount of trouble, both personal and legal.

When I first heard that they were making a movie about Facebook, I scoffed at the idea and figured it would be of no interest to me. I was wrong. When I found out that it was going to be directed by David Fincher (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Fight Club) and written by Aaron Sorkin (Charlie Wilson’s War, TVs The West Wing) I got very interested in the movie. The Social Network isn’t about Facebook, it’s about the people and controversy behind its creation. I figured I might enjoy it a little bit but I ended up being completely fascinated with it. Fincher did a great job with the direction of this movie, flashing between the litigation and the story was a great idea. The writing was superb, I absolutely loved the dialogue in this movie, it was very quick paced, smart and rather witty and funny at times. The movie grabbed me at the start and managed to keep my attention all the way through, and at the end it left me wanting a little more. Now, I’m not saying there should be a sequel, there shouldn’t, I’m just saying the movie was very effective.

I was also a little bit surprised at how neutral, for the most part, the movie was. It seems that Fincher and Sorkin didn’t want to make a movie that bashes the people who created Facebook, as many early reviews had implied that it did, just as they didn’t want to paint them as saints. With pretty much all of the character, they did a good job of showing the individuals good and bad sides. The only person that I got the movie had a problem with it Sean Parker, inventor of Napster and co-owner of Facebook. The movie didn’t really seem to have anything good to say about Parker, painting him as an immature, drug addled party boy, and nothing else.

Jesse Eisenberg (Zombieland, Adventureland) plays the main character of the movie, Mark Zuckerberg. I felt that Eisenberg did an amazing job with this role as it took a lot of work. Throughout the movie Zuckerberg talks very quickly and with purpose, throwing comments out so quickly that it can be hard to catch if you’re not paying attention. Eisenberg definitely proved himself as an actor in this movie. Andrew Garfield (The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, Red Riding Trilogy) plays Zuckerberg’s best friend Eduardo Saverin. Garfield did a great job with his role as well and is proving himself as an actor as well, I’m sure we’ll be seeing great things from him in the future (after the Spider-man reboot of course). Justin Timberlake (Alpha Dog, Southland Tales) played Sean Parker. I have always been impressed with Timberlake as an actor and he was great in this movie as the egocentric creator of Napster. Relative new comer Armie Hammer had an interesting task of playing two roles as the twins Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss. Hammer did a great job with the role and was very enjoyable in the roles. The movie also features Rooney Mara, Max Minghella, Barry Livingston, Rashida Jones and many others.

The Social Network was a great fast paced drama about the creators of Facebook. It has some of the best writing I’ve heard in a movie in a long time. I found it very enjoyable and would recommend this movie to just about everyone.

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