You Have -300 Friends
This is the story of the first real-life supervillain.
The Social Network
Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, Armie Hammer, Rooney Mara, Justin Timberlake
Directed By: David Fincher
The Social Network is about more than just the creation of Facebook. It’s about a person who creates something that takes over the world almost overnight, and his inability to handle it. It’s a cautionary tale about fame, and how greed or even overprotection of an idea can cause someone to screw over everyone around them. It’s one of the best movies I’ve seen this year, and my pick for the Best Picture Oscar.
Jesse Eisenberg stars as Mark Zuckerberg, who when we meet for the first time is breaking up with his girlfriend in the most painfully awkward way imaginable. From this breakup, he gets drunk and starts coding, eventually creating a site called “Face Mash”, in which people vote on which girl they know is more attractive. After shutting down the Harvard network, Zuckerberg gets the idea to create a new social site, with funding from his friend Eduardo Saverin (Andrew Garfeild). At the same time, the twin members of one of Harvard’s Finals Clubs (both played by Armie Hammer) contact Zuckerberg to help them create their own social network site. Here is where the drama starts.
At first, the twins decide to sue Zuckerberg after he stops answering their phone calls and e-mails regarding the site they want Zuckerberg to manage. Once “The Facebook” launches, Zuckerberg and his friend become campus celebrities, and gain all of the trappings of this fame. While the twins are hounding Zuckerberg about him “stealing their idea”, Saverin wants to take the site to advertisers to help cover the costs of the rapidly growing culture being built around them. Eventually the popularity of the site brings the attention of Mr. Napster himself, Sean Parker (Justin Timberlake). Parker shows Zuckerberg the rock star life, and helps take Facebook to the next level, while at the same time slowly phasing out Saverin, who in turn also sues his former best friend.
David Fincher’s directing of this movie is phenomenal, and the pacing of the movie, while jarring at first, really starts to click once the conflict between all of the players gets going. By showing us the different legal battles before certain key events, we feel like we’re apart of all of these players in the creation of Facebook, and it’s extremely difficult to not feel sympathy for Andrew Garfield’s character. Speaking of Garfield, now that I’ve finally seen him in a movie I feel a lot better with him playing Spider-man. At least his performance will be good.
In terms of the performances, all of them really shine. Armie Hammer playing the twins Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss was great, and Eisenberg does a phenomenal job portraying this version of Zuckerberg as well. The real Eduardo Saverin sold his story for this movie, so there is a pretty negative slant towards Zuckerberg’s character, but there are moments where it seemed to me like Zuckerberg got in way too over his head and tried to keep the integrity of his creation, which in turn led to him destroying every friendship he had, and being tempted by Parker. Zuckerberg’s oddness around other people was extremely authentic, and after seeing the real Mark Zuckerberg on Saturday Night Live last weekend it seemed pretty accurate too.
One last thing before I wrap up: the score by Nine Inch Nails’ Trent Reznor was fantastic. The songs are perfect for the scenes, and I believe are a lock for best original score as well. The Social Network is a film that will be looked back on as a monumental movie for our generation, even if it may not be completely accurate. This movie is highly recommended, and will probably make you think the next time you log on to stalk your old high school girlfriend.
4 1/5 “Pokes” out of 5