The Social Network
Running Time: 120 Minutes
Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, Justin Timberlake, Rooney Mara, Rashida Jones
Directed By: David Fincher
Rating: 7 out of 10
This movie follows the creators of Facebook from inception to present and all the pitfalls associated with big business.
It seemed fitting to review the so called “Facebook” movie a couple of months after the company went public. Over 900 million people are now on Facebook so I feel very privileged and popular when 20 people read my movie reviews. I do appreciate my readers but that was some Sheldon Cooper sarcasm for you. The Social Network is the story of an unlikely journey from virtual obscurity to one of the richest and most influential companies in our earth’s short history. The story is about the creators of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, and Eduardo Saverin’s beginnings to where their company stands in the year 2010, where it is insanely popular and riddled with law suits.
I was highly skeptical of this film going in as society talks about Facebook too much already. To say it over saturates people’s day to day lives is an understatement. That coupled with a cast of relative unknowns and this film had snooze fest written all over it. I never should have doubted one of my favorite directors though in David Fincher to get the best out of this topic. The film starts off with a look into Zuckerberg’s persona as he interacts with his girlfriend at a bar. Right from this opening scene you will understand this movie will be entertaining if it is nothing else. Zuckerberg is this neurotic character and his dialogue is one part intellect, one part ass, one part sarcasm. I highly doubt anyone in the world is this clever let alone Mark Zuckerberg but it makes for an entertaining watch. The film does a nice job of blending two storylines together. The first storyline follows Zuckerberg having to give a deposition in a board room as he faces multiple lawsuits. The second follows him and his friends from day one to the massive entity Facebook is today. I was really intrigued by the seemingly normalcy (besides being Harvard students) of these computer nerds and their struggle to get the site going. When you are young and rich you obviously get to live it up and it is always fun watching that sort of thing even if it is mindless. The script obviously takes a lot of liberties to make it a stronger sell but I was always entertained. No matter whom Zuckerberg interacts with he is the star of the film with a what will he say/do next mentality.
Mark Zuckerberg played by Jesse Eisenberg just did a great job with this character. His nonchalance delivery and sarcastic style made this story always edgy and easy to watch. He may have gone overboard with some of the dialogue but I never felt he took it too far. Just a brilliant portrayal and will lead to many more dramatic roles for him in the future.
Partner Eduardo Saverin played by Andrew Garfield was okay in this film. He will not stand out either negatively or positively and that certainly is okay in a film like this. I found Napster creator Sean Parker played by Justin Timberlake a surprising hit for me. He took an energetic and creepy approach to the role and did a great supporting job with it. Two of the people suing Zuckerberg were the Winklevoss twins played by actor Armie Hammer and they were a big miss for me. Hammer tends to overact with these characters and they came off as practiced and fake. Whenever they were on the screen you couldn’t help notice his poor portrayal. Rooney Mara and Rashida Jones have small supporting roles if you are fans of theirs.
Overall this story had a lot of highs and lows and yet it I was happy to take the journey. The tagline to this film is you don’t get to 500 million friends without making a few enemies and that is spot on. I wanted to see Zuckerberg piss people off. I wanted to see what happened with the lawsuits. I wanted to see him become friends with Sean Parker. This film is a very guilty pleasure almost reality television style but for a couple of hours it was a solid watch.
Director David Fincher takes an Aaron Sorkin Screenplay (Book Ben Mezrich) and delivers a film worth the viewing. He could have cast completely wrong and as long as he still had Eisenberg as the lead this movie would have worked for me. The intertwining of two storylines was a thing of easy fluidity. You never got tired of the less serious partying because it was relieved by the more serious boardroom scenes. I did find the movie had more style than substance and was obviously super embellished but it still worked. Fincher took so many interesting players and delivered another good film for his already brilliant career.
I give this movie a big recommendation especially for people looking for a lighter drama. Facebook is in most of our lives and as proof of this I am going to log on to Facebook right now and post this review.
T Factor + If you do not need realistic storylines in your drama then this could score higher on the rating scale.
T Factor – If you do not like Jesse Eisenberg as an actor this could score lower on the rating scale.
If you liked this film reel recommendations: Boiler Room, Wall Street.