Film Review: The Social Network

11 10 2010

I was going to review Buried for you tonight, but since it’s been out for a while I’ll get stuck into The Social Network.

I will just say I found Buried entertaining enough although the best part of my evening occurred when some Scouse mouthbreather was reprimanded for using his normal speaking voice in the cinema, he got up, started shouting at Ryan Reynolds for being boring and then chastised everyone for not leaving with him. That’s no sleight on the film… he was just that extraordinarily morose. I often think it would be quite liberating if my brain was a pickled cabbage.

Anyway – The Social Network! Not going to lie, I went into this film with some apprehension; Facebook is the social behemoth of our times so I thought this would be some fawning tribute to the website’s creator – Mark Zuckerberg (played by Jesse Eisenberg). Around 5 minutes in, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that wasn’t the case.

I saw Eisenberg in Zombie Land, and funny as it was (and it was funny) he was doing his best Michael Cera impression. But in The Social Network he showed more depth, portraying a socially akward, sometimes funny, sometimes rude individual obsessed with increasing his status in a bid to make others like him as a person and perhaps more-so, make him feel better about himself. It was quite a frank performance and it certainly didn’t pander to the Facebook creator.

The first half of the film follows Zuckerberg around Harvard where he studied computer programming. Through a drunken, misogynistic computer programme that he created to reap revenge on his ex-girlfriend,  he captures the attention of a group of high-flying Harvard students: 2 future rowing Olympians (think Abercrombie & Fitch’s wet dream) and their friend. The group pitch an idea to Zuckerberg of a Harvard social networking site that would encourage girls to hook up with Harvard guys. Zuckerberg agrees to help but then proceeds to take the best bits of their idea, bank roll the project with the help of his friend Eduardo Saverin (Andrew Garfield) and fob them off until the project goes live and snow-balls.

The rest is one crazy tale of lightning quick success and the audience are treated to a series of moral dilemmas which many of us will not be faced with. The relationship between Mark and Eduardo becomes strained as the site becomes more successful and this problem reaches it’s climax when Napster creator Shaun Parker (played by Justin Timberlake) charms Mark and muscles his way into the company. Also, regarding the Harvard golden boys who allegedly first came to Zuckerberg with the social networking idea, the question is raised as to whether it’s legitimate to feel wronged when someone takes your idea, refines it and then takes it further than you could ever hope to?

Eisenberg certainly steals the show; his conflicted, flawed portrayal of Zuckerberg certainly humanises the character and personally I wasn’t sure whether I pitied him, loved him or hated him. There’s a strong supporting performance from Garfield whose performance as Eduardo left me feeling incredibly sorry for the long suffering best friend – he really comes across as a guy who it was so hard not to like. Timberlake also does an excellent job of portraying Parker as a real opportunistic, charismatic, cowardly piece of shit! The long used plot device of a woman coming between two friends is employed here, except the trouble making beauty is a billion dollar business.

Getting an insight into one of the biggest cultural phenomenon’s of  our time was a real treat and regardless of whether the events were a hundred percent accurate, it was wonderfully entertaining, made me laugh and perhaps more disconcerting, made me think… shock.

4/5

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3 responses

26 10 2010
Geld Verdienen Im Internet

Did you know that a lot of my German friends from school are using your blog to improve their english skills? I am doing the same hehe So thanks for the good article! Lets hope I will pass my exams! The only critique I have is that I had quite some hard time finding your RSS Feed for subscribing!

3 11 2010
admin

Thankyou! I can’t promise that my English is what you would see in a textbook, but it’s nice to know that you enjoy the site. My computer skills are pretty thin as well so I’ve put in a email subscription function so when the blog is updated, you will be notified straight away! I’ll keep working on getting the RSS feed up and running!

3 11 2010
admin

P.S Good luck in your exams!

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