Of course it wasn’t always like that. Prior to Facebook the big thing was MySpace. Everyone who was everyone had some page overloaded with graphics and music that took twenty minutes to load. It was a good idea for a site. It was a start. But it wasn’t a finish. Facebook isn’t a finish either, but it’s a hell of much better start and its creation is fascinating.
The Social Network stars Jesse Eisenberg as Mark Zuckerberg, a man who helped change the world and doesn’t seem to really care. He’s the one who, mythology would have you believe, single-handedly made-up Facebook while attending Harvard. Of course the truth is a lot more complicated and more interesting, and in this movie we find out what it was.
Back in 2003 Zuckerberg was a student at Harvard. He attracted some attention after creating a Harvard version of what was essentially hotornot. This got the attention not only of the authorities but also some other people who had an interest in creating a larger version of what he did. They supplied some ideas and they supplied money and he took it all and ran with it. Needless to say, lawsuits followed.
This is a really fascinating film about a very unusual man. We get the impression that Zuckerberg finds all the fame and money to be incidental. That what he really wants to do is get back to work. There’s a scene in the film where Sean Patrick (Justin Timberlake), the inventor of Napster, is trying to offer all the sex, drugs and music that Zuckerberg could possibly want as Zuckerberg gives the impression of saying, “This is all time I could be busy programming.”
Not to say that he doesn’t have any interest in getting credit for his work. When he’s sued by the people who helped him launch the site, he works quite hard to fight back against them and it’s clear that it’s about his ego more than the money. As portrayed by Eisenberg he’s definitely a cold-fish who is far more interested in computers than people. He’s not unsympathetic, but he’s also not very likable, something his lawyer drives home to him when they discuss taking the lawsuits before a jury.
The acting by everyone, especially Eisenberg and Armie Hammer who, with help from some CGI and a body-double, plays a pair of twins. Also deserving mention is Andrew Garfield, who will be appearing as Spider-Man in 2012 and here proves he’s quite decent as an actor (as well as rather easy on the eyes).
On a technical level this movie is a marvel. Director David Fisher has crafted an elegant an interesting film about the creation of a website. That it’s something that I think it a major early Oscar contender says quite a lot about how well-done it is. It’s helped quite a bit by a very tight script from The West Wing creator Aaron Sorkin.
The mere fact that someone can take such an apparently dry subject as this and make into a movie that’s not only decent but great is something amazing. Watch for this one to snag a bunch of awards this year. And watch the movie. Then go update your Facebook status.
What did you think of this review?
The Social Network is a 2010 drama film directed by David Fincher about the founding of the social networking website Facebook. The film features an ensemble cast, which consists of Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, Justin Timberlake, Brenda Song, Max Minghella, Rooney Mara and Armie Hammer.
The film was written by Aaron Sorkin and adapted from Ben Mezrich's 2009 nonfiction book The Accidental Billionaires. The film is distributed by Columbia Pictures and is set for an October 1, 2010 release. None of the Facebook staff, including founder Mark Zuckerberg, will be involved with the project. One of the co-founders, Eduardo Saverin, was a consultant for Mezrich's book. The film is distributed by Columbia Pictures and was released on October 1, 2010.