Thursday, October 28, 2010
The Social Network
It was a slightly surreal experience watching this movie. Usually when a film is based on fact, it's set some time ago. This is from events of only six years ago. It's the story of Mark Zuckerberg brilliantly portrayed by Jesse Eisenberg and his rise to becoming the youngest billionaire and creator of the much loved 'Facebook'. It was invented during his time at Harvard with his friend Eduardo Saverin. The origiinal basis for the site was based on the elitism of the 'Finals Clubs' in the prestigious Ivy League schools. If you didn't have a Harvard email, you couldn't be on 'Facebook'. This appealed to Mark, as it appears that he was driven by being in the cool group of kids and social climbing oh, and a girl, there's always a girl. The girl in question is played by Rooney Mara, soon to be seen in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (English speaking version). She takes over the mantle of Lizbeth Salander from Noomie Rapace and has to fill some very large shoes. Money was not Zuckerberg's motivator. Andrew Garfield plays his loyal friend Saverin who stumps up the money to get the company off the ground. It is told in flash back as Mark has two law suits to contend with. One from Saverin who was shockingly stabbed in the back by 'Facebook'. The other from impossibly handsome twin rowers (Armie Hammer) who accused Mark of intellectual theft by stealing their initial idea of an elite website. Justin Timberlake stars as Sean Parker, the inventor of free music download site Napster who gives input into the development of 'Facebook'. Now singers do not have a good track record when it comes to acting, think Madonna, David Bowie and Mick Jagger eeewww. I'm happy to report that old sexy back is quite wonderful as the charismatic if a little paranoid Parker. Andrew Garfield is brilliant as the sympathetic Eduardo but the film belongs to, as it should, Jesse Eisenberg. He plays his role with a complicated mixture of naivety, confusion, profound intellect, social ineptness and a little question of where he stands on the austism scale thrown in for good measure. I read that the film portrays Zuckerberg in a poor light. I don't feel this is exactly true. The essence of the whole film is that these brilliant young guys had an idea and ran with it. None of them had the experience emotionally or business acumen to handle the overwhelming phenomenom of 'Facebook'. It's also documented that this is the director David Fincher's idea of what went on during those years and not a verbatim account. This was a really great movie. I do not understand the attraction of 'Facebook' or wanting to belong to any of those finals clubs, it's a strangely American school thing I think. You do understand the character's commitment and passion to them though. It is a moving and sad story which, though exclusive to the 21st Century in technology is timeless in it's emotional story. THE SOCIAL NETWORK: Tell your friends about it on Facebook. 8/10.