The Social Network sheds light on Facebook’s inception
By Chris Pike
In the Fall of 2003 twenty-year-old Havard student Mark Zuckerberg began something that would change millions of lives, some for the better and some for the worse. The Social Network tells that story.
The film begins with Mark, portrayed by Jesse Eisenberg, being dumped by his girlfriend. The dialogue in this scene is sharper than a straight razor and as opening scenes go, this is one of the best. It’s very easy to see that screenwriter Aaron Sorkin (A Few Good Men) is right at home with the characters.
While the scene doesn’t offer much visually, the opening credits that take place soon afte quickly fill that void. Director David Fincher (Se7en, Fight Club) provides some beautiful shots of Harvard campus as the audience watches Mark walk back to his dorm.
The film is told from several different points of view, narrated by both Zuckerberg and his former business partner and best friend Eduardo Saverin, portrayed by Andrew Garfield, through multiple deposition scenes. While the different narrations add flavor to many scenes Finch and Sorkin do a great job of never making it seem like the story being told by the respective characters is ever all facts or pure fiction.
Both Eisenberg and Garfield are very believable as Zuckerberg and Saverin, displaying emotions during many of the more crucial scenes, such as the one where Zuckerberg has all but written Saverin out of the company they started together. Garfield displays not only great anger, but the audience can hear the sadness in his voice as he realizes he’s been betrayed.
Garfield also does an incredible job of hiding his accent (he’s British) and putting on a rather credible New England-Jewish one.
Justin Timberlake also does a masterful job as former head of Napster, Sean Parker, who helps Zuckerberg maximize his potential. Timberlake really flexes his acting muscle here, playing the slimy, quite spineless, party-boy Parker.
Aaron Sorkin has written an incredible script with an abundance of witty dialogue that make the scenes in which computer nerds are writing lines of code feel like they’re straight out of an action movie.
Fincher is able to take a lot of the movie, which is rather heavy on the dialogue, for something he’s directed and still turn it into a visual masterpiece. The regatta scene alone is absolutely stunning and, while it offers very little to the plot, it breaks the film up in such a way that it’s welcomed with open arms.
Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross are responsible for the breathtaking score throughout the movie. The music adds too much to the movie, yet doesn’t overpower the more dramatic parts of the film. The music also tends to reflect a lot of the characters’ personalities. The scenes where Mark is alone tend to have a sad tune with sinister undertones, showcasing who Zuckerberg is and what he becomes over the course of the movie.
The film itself is rife with moral dilemmas and will certainly spark debate amongst those who have seen it. Did Zuckerberg in fact steal the idea for Facebook? Would you have done the same if you were in his shoes? These are only a couple of questions that arise after watching the movie.
The story, like many things involving young adults, boils down to rejection and acceptance. Mark longs to control both of those in his life.
In sum, this is a movie for anyone who enjoys a great drama with bits of dark comedy thrown in for good measure. But Facebook users should definitely check this movie out. Anyone who frequents the social networking site should know about its humble and relatively innocent beginnings and how it came to ruin the lives and friendships of those involved.