Nov 7, 2010

The Social Network

See The Social Network if you think you feel the need to become a little bit more informed on this generation and the time we are living in. See it if you love the magic of film. But above all else go and see this remarkable film if you feel the need to be thoroughly and totally entertained from the very start to the very end. Exceptionable film maker David Fincher has once again crafted a must see piece of cinema.

The Social Network is essentially the story, still burning current, of the founding of Facebook in 2003 by Harvard student Mark Zuckerberg. This social network is of course a worldwide phenomenon with now over 500 million users. But in its beginning it was born out of conflict and pain, which is what is astounding film trades in. It can be viewed as a microcosm of society or even a modern social history lesson but at its core it is the base human conflict of life that drives the film through out. It begins with a superb and unique scene where Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg) is breaking up with girlfriend Erica. The dialogue flows back and forth revealing the main protagonist to be highly intelligent and also supremely cold hearted. This soon leads to Zuckerberg hacking into Harvard's website to create a website that rates female students looks. When he realises the popularity of this website he decides to create something even better. A website where every student can place their photo online and communicate, if invited, with other students. Firstly at Harvard, then other US colleges, before going to the entire world. As this idea sprouts wings, with the help of Napster founder Sean Parker (Justin Timberlake), he attracts lawsuits from former partners/rivals who claim that Zuckerberg betrayed them. Here we see the conflict, played out in student dorms and law offices. We not only see the 21st century through a microscope, but we view the age old emotions of jealousy, rivalry and hatred played out on the big screen. This film is directed with perfect pace by Fincher. It is compelling from the opening frame to the very last shot. Aaron Sorkin's screenplay is near faultless. The dialogue is razor sharp and all the characters are multi dimensional. There are no good or bad guys in this film, they all have their flaws. Instead the characters are young people, mostly men, trying to find their place in the world. They are at times egotistical and callous, but at all times compelling. All performances are sound, but Eisenberg is especially great as the complicated Zuckerberg. A huge challenge to play another young man that is a high profile citizen, he pulls it off superbly. This is great cinema. It delivers in nearly every way possible. You could easily say that The Social Network is essential viewing.


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