The Social Network
Facebook is the social site that has inhabited most of the worldís attention. It has become the network that people as a means to connect with friends and family the quickest way possible. With a simple stroke, a person can invite ten people to a party at a bar, a family gathering, even a graduation. This seed was grown by the corporate magnate known as Mark Zuckerberg, but how was it able to grow? Through the film The Social Network, director David Fincher directs it to backstabbing and power plays, creating a perfect film that dives into the character of Mark Zuckerberg, and how his need to branch out socially through his work left him to be even more isolated, as well as the center of lawsuits from former friends and fellow students who were also part of the birth of Facebook.
The first thing that needs to be stated about this film is its dialogue. From the opening scene with Mark Zuckerberg and his girlfriend that plays as a sort of birth place towards the creation of Facebook, it is lean, quick, and engaging. This is mostly to the keen writing skills of Aaron Sorkin, who wrote the screenplay based off Ben Mezrichís book. It is the dialogue that drives this movie for the most part, and it never feels like it is the emergency brake, but rather the ignition. These characters are fighting to get the last word, especially in the scenes where there is a need to have control over the given situation. It also helps that there are actors and actresses in the film that are more than willing to contribute with making this dialogue work in the filmís surrounding.
For Jessie Eisenberg, who plays Mark Zuckerberg, this is an amazing performance. At first glance, his portrayal of Zuckerberg seems like a know-it-all genius who feels like he is above the rest. Itís that portrayal that soon sheds to show a sorrowful soul who just seems to think things through without a hesitancy of what is going to be a negative or positive outcome of the situation. Itís the afterthoughts of the moment that shows the quick sense of sadness and regret that Eisenberg lets loose for just a second, but then puts a shield up to show the personality that is on the offensive. Itís done and cannot be undone in his mind. This is the kryptonite that resides in Zuckerberg in terms of making a valuable social connection, and Eisenberg handles it brilliantly.
In regards to the other actors, Andre Garfield is also solid as the friend of Zuckerberg who was helping fund the birth of Facebook a, Eduardo Saverin. For the character of Saverin, he understands how Zuckerbergís isolating personality can be, but still remains and good friend and business partner. Garfield mostly plays Saverin as the supporting friend, but when the gloves begin to come off and tension rises with Zuckerberg, and he definitely rises up to the challenge of going against Eisenberg in terms of acting.
Then we have Justin Timberlake, who plays the smarmy Sean Parker, one of the former owners of Napster who begins to wedge into Zuckerberg and Saverin in terms of controlling how Facebook will grow. For Zuckerberg, Parker is the man that can run along with Zuckerbergís growing train of thought of what Facebook can be become, and Timberlake portrays that confident character with poise and coolness. I never understood the comments on the fact that Timberlake is a bad actor. He was one of the only few who tried to exude more than one dimension in a world of unsympathetic characters in Alpha Dog, and was fine in Black Snake Moan. The rest of the actors, particularly Armie Hammer and Max Minghella, are great as the prestigious Harvard students who were the possible starting points of Facebook, with the basis of the social network being strictly for Harvard students. Max Minghella brings great frustration and resilience as Divya Narendra and Armie Hammer, particularly, is great at playing both twin brothers of Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss respectively; evoking some of the filmís hilarious moments.
Now, with excellent writing, director David Fincher handles the directorial attributes excellently as well. The editing and shots are just as quick as the impact of Sorkinísa dialogue, enacting certain moments to portray a bit of emotion for Zuckerberg, or to set up the next big conformation with the characters. Also, letís not forget Trent Reznor and Atticus Roseís haunting music score for the film, setting the correct mood for what each scene, as well as character, is trying to portray.
David Fincherís The Social Network is sort of the movie that resonates with a current moment in Americaís life, in this case Facebook, while also eliciting a character study and portrayal of real life events. Then, add kinetic directing, a fire cracking script, excellent performances across the board, a moody, yet electrical score, and you have more than just a good movie; you have an amazing movie.