The Social Network : Movie Review
The Social Network is one of the most controversy-courting movies released this year
(2010) and was one of the most eagerly awaited films of the first year of the new
decade. Here is a detailed look at The Social Network as a movie, forgetting all the
off screen hypes surrounding it.
Directed by David Fincher, The Social Network is the real life story behind the creation
of the social networking site Facebook and the treachery and legal battles that followed
its phenomenal success.
Meet Mark Zuckerberg: a brilliant coder, a disgruntled boyfriend, calm and calculating,
self confident to the point of being downright arrogant. The Social Network is the
story of his journey from being a Harvard undergraduate who couldn't care less about
money to being the youngest billionaire in history, a man in desperate need of friendship
having 500 million admirers (or friends in Facebook parlance) but no real friend
except for the man he has betrayed.
On a fall night in 2003, after his girlfriend dumps him in the middle of a date for
being extremely rude (though he was probably just being painfully honest), Mark loses
his cool and in a drunken frenzy hacks into the Harvard archives, gets hold of photos
of all on-campus girls and launches an application called Facemash which will enable
the Harvard students to rate the hotter of two randomly chosen college girls. The
program is an instant hit with the guys and within hours of its launch overloads the
university servers causing a cyber shut down leading to a probe behind its cause.
Mark Zuckerberg is severely reprimanded for his efforts and Facemash is terminated.
However, Mark's genius as a coder does not go unnoticed and he is approached by the
Winklevoss twins (Armie Hammer and Josh Pence) to design a Myspace like program exclusively
accessible by Harvard students. Mark instantly recognizes the potential in this venture
(originally named Harvard Connect by the Winklevoss twins) and starts working behind
their backs and steals their idea to independently develop his thefacebook.com. For
the seed investment he turns to his only friend Eduardo Saverin (Andrew Garfield)
and agrees on a 70-30 revenue share.
Social Network Official Trailer
Watch cool videos at YouTubeStars
As expected, thefacebook.com gains instant popularity but fails to interest investors
and appears to be doomed as a commercial project in the long term. However, Mark (who
has not yet invested a dime in the project) is adamant about not compromising Facebook's coolness by
indiscriminately cluttering it with ads and finds an apparently unexpected ally in
the form of Sean Parker (Justin Timberlake), founder of the immensely popular but
unethical and illegal music sharing platform called Napster who grabs their imagination
by saying "You know what's cooler than a million dollars?...A billion dollars".
From there on it becomes the Sean Parker show as he expertly manipulates Mark Zuckerberg
into legally disowning Eduardo Saverin through an underhand trick, exploiting Saverin's
trust in Mark. As Parker fills in Saverin's boots, his smooth talk and expert business
strategies brings in swarms of investors and Facebook (which has by then not only
transcended the boundaries of Harvard but that of the USA) is well on its way to becoming the sensation
of the decade. But even as Facebook is steadily climbing the ladders to unmatched
popularity creating a fortune for its share holders, Zuckerberg's ghosts from the
past, Eduardo and the Winklevoss twins, are tempted more and more to forfeit their
gentlemanly conduct and soon Mark Zuckerberg finds himself entangled in a series of
serious law suits accusing him of everything from intellectual theft to fraud and
breech of trust. And for all his fame, fortune and troubles Mark is still a girl friend
The Social Network is a very original story narrated at a break neck pace and always
keeping the viewer on tenterhooks. The story always remains focused on the central
plot and is backed by an amazing screenplay (Golden Globe nomination) and haunting
background scores. The acting is top notch with Jesse Eisenberg as the steely humanoid,
Mark Zuckerberg and Andrew Garfield as the betrayed friend Eduardo Saverin deserving
special mention. The last shot is probably one of the most touching scenes ever filmed
in an otherwise tough, unromantic movie.
The Social Network is as perfect a movie as you will ever see with the only drawback,
if it can be called a drawback at all, being the absence of any strong female character
which could have given the viewer a slight change of taste while watching this one-dimensional,
ultra masculine movie.
The Social Network is undisputedly one of the finest biographical films of all time
and probably in the same league as The Motorcycle Diaries. In fact, it is probably
better defined as a full fledged psychological thriller than a biographical drama
and undoubtedly the best 'thriller without guns' I have ever seen. David Fincher's
Mark Zuckerberg is sure to send a chill down your spine and in some ways has an uncanny
resemblance to Stanley Kubrick's sadistic humanoid Alex DeLarge (The Clockwork Orange)
and as in Alex's case, here too by the end of the movie you will feel slightly sympathetic
towards Mark for apparently no reason at all. When the movie is over you will
go home thoroughly entertained and with a haunting feeling that you would have enjoyed
the movie better if it was purely a work of fiction and not based on real life incidents
that occurred less than a decade ago, for at some level The Social Network is a mockery
of the so-called civilized world and portrays the common man's tendency to relinquish
control to his basic animal instincts in times of crisis.
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