Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, Brenda Song, Justin Timberlake, Rooney Mara, Armie Hammer, Max Minghella, Rashida Jones, Joseph Mazzello, Dustin Fitzsimons, Patrick Mapel, Douglas Urbanski, Wallace Langham, Dakota Johnson, Malese Jow, Denise Grayson, Trevor Wright, John Getz, and Shelby Young.
Directed by: David Fincher.
Released: October 1st, 2010.
When I first heard that they were making a movie about the social networking site Facebook, I was quite skeptical. We’ve got countless unnecessary remakes, sequels, adaptations, and stupid board game adaptations such as the upcoming Battleship. Now, a movie about a social network. You’ve got to wonder in what direction is Hollywood heading? Possibly the loony bin, at this rate. Anyway, upon viewing the trailer for The Social Network, I was quite impressed with the route that they have gone with the film. It’s basically a film that’s not really about Facebook, it’s about a couple of lawsuits surrounding the founding of Facebook. Ah, now it’s more clear.
Based on a work of nonfiction called The Accidental Billionaires by Ben Mezrich, The Social Network is the story of how Facebook was founded by its CEO Mark Zuckerberg as well as the friends and enemies he made in the process. It’s a story about entreprenuership. Now that makes sense, I mean it sounds better than saying It’s a movie about a website called Facebook. I mean after Bambi II and now Battleship, how low can you possibly go with the latter? Believe or not, The Social Network involved no employees from Facebook itself, including its CEO. Apparently, most of the film is a dramatized version of what really happened, in other words, a huge chunk of it is fiction. This is perfectly normal for movies that are based on true stories. Sometimes, the true version isn’t as exciting, thus requiring the film version to make it that way.
It all begins in the Fall of 2003 when Harvard student Mark Zuckerberg gets into a disagreement with his girlfriend and they break up. Mark proceeds to create a site called FaceMash which allows male students to rate the attractiveness of the female students. He does this by hacking into the databases of the residence halls and stealing their pictures. The site crashes the entire Harvard network and places Mark on six months of academic probation. Nevertheless, his achievement catches the attention of the Winklevoss brothers and their business partner Divya Narendra. These guys think Zuckerberg would make for a fantastic addition to their team which is in the process of putting together a site called The Harvard Connection.
Shortly after, Mark thinks of a much better idea for a social networking site called Thefacebook. His best friend Eduardo Saverin agrees to help him put it together. As the site launches and grows popular very quickly, the Winklevoss brothers and Narendra learn of it and come to the conclusion that Mark stole their idea. To make a long story short, as the site grows even bigger and approaches one million members, Eduardo’s attention spans to other areas of his life such as an internship, Napster co-founder Sean Parker jumps aboard and helps pick up the slack, and before you know it, Zuckerberg finds himself in between two lawsuits – The Winklevoss twins and Saverin.
The story is told from a flashback perspective as Mark testifies in the two different lawsuits during the present. Director David Fincher handles this with great care and professionalism. This man has come a long, long way from his Alien 3 days (which even that was impressive considering all the suffering that film went through). The cast does an excellent job, from Eisenberg to Garfield to Timberlake. It’s fun to watch Jesse Eisenberg’s portrayal of Mark Zuckerberg as he progresses through this story.
While I appreciate the care and direction that was taken with this film, I just wish it wasn’t for the founding of Facebook which, in my opinion, does the very same thing it set out not to do in the first place – Invade people’s privacy. Thanks to the creation of “the wall”, that promise is now broken. People are getting fired for things they are saying on their wall just because their boss or some co-worker is friends with them. And not for nothing but I must ask what is the point of letting people know what you are doing every minute or hour of the day? I can understand if it were a celebrity doing this, but everyone else? The only reason I have a Facebook is to keep in touch with people, not to let everyone know what I’m eating right now or how much sex I just had last night. Facebook may as well be the precursor to Big Brother. Bring on the New World Order.