Friday, June 24, 2011

The Social Network (2010)

Facebook me? Facebook you!

- I know who will not be accepting director David Fincher's friend request on Facebook: (co)founder of Facebook and the focus of Fincher's film The Social Network of course - Mark Zuckerberg.

Based on the book "The Accidental Billionaires" by Ben Mezrich, The Social Network tells the story that Zuckerberg does not want you to hear: the creation of Facebook and all of the partying, insults, backstabbing, hooded sweatshirts, Asian chicks, and lawsuits that went with it.

The Social Network is a very absorbing film. While the cinematography itself is good, albeit nothing particularly special, it is the story and setting that really makes the film engrossing. David Fincher tells the engaging story very well with sharp editing, intertwining flashbacks and real time very well, and excelling in the presentation of college life - the partying, the sex, the drugs, and the immaturity of American college life are exposed to an embarrassingly accurate extent. The progression of events of the Zuckerberg/Facebook story is a particularly fascinating one and this telling of how the cultural phenomenon known as Facebook originated, who was involved, who came out on top, who got thrown under the bus, how fast it grew, and how fragile the system was makes every scene of The Social Network engaging.

Thanks to the great acting from the principle actors, the film is even more engaging. Jesse Eisenberg is phenomenal as Mark Zuckerberg, chewing up and spitting out the fizzling dialogue with extreme speed (not heard since Bogart's 40s tirades) and hilarious sarcasm while creating a character of whom the audience develops a deep love/hate relationship for. Rooney Mara and Andrew Garfield are also very impressive supporters and Justin Timberlake's performance as entrepreneur, playboy, and Napster founder Sean Parker, while vastly overrated by fans and the media, is very good as well.

Clearly not every scene in The Social Network is 100% accurate to what transpired in real life - no film that is based on historical events has ever been 100% accurate - but Zuckerberg's circuits have nonetheless overloaded with anger over his portrayal in the film. But even if the film is wrong in its presentation of certain events or characterizations of the people involved, there is an engaging narrative and a tremendous irony in the story of a back-stabbing creation of the epitome of narcissism in a narcissistic culture by a completely arrogant and obsessive but brilliant narcissist featured in The Social Network.

CBC Rating: 8/10

No comments: