It’s late, I know, but I figured I should finally put this one down on paper. Or screen. Or whatever. You know what I mean.
If you’re one of the relative handful of people who haven’t taken your Facebook-trolling ass to the movie theater to see The Social Network, I strongly advise that you put down the Farmville, tear your face away from the screen, and get to the theater. If it helps, most phones support the Facebook mobile app, so it’s not like you’ll be out of touch.
Like me, some of you only really jumped on the Facebook train once Myspace started to go tits-up to the impending juggernaut of social networking. Yeah, remember Myspace? Think real hard and it might come back to you.
Jumping on to Facebook at the point most of us did seemed like we were at the start of something new. Little did we know that we started that particular franchise in the middle of the story. Few, if any, of us were around for the origin. We didn’t know about the people involved in creating it, we didn’t know about the surrounding controversy, the in-fighting, or the lawsuits. All we knew was that something new and cool had risen from the depths of the internet to entertain us, and that was enough.
The Social Network is the origin story none of us really gave a second thought to because we were so busy tagging photos and playing Mafia Wars to care where any of this came from.
Aaron Sorkin’s screenplay spins out of Ben Mezrich’s book, The Accidental Billionaires, the same origin story on which one of Facebook’s co-founders (Eduardo Saverin) was his main consultant.
Combined with David Fincher’s direction and the placement of Jesse Eisenberg in the role of creator Mark Zuckerberg, the movie winds up being a fantastically frenetic shotgun blast of dialogue, most if not all of which is insanely witty and incredibly relatable.
Eisenberg plays Zuckerberg as a modern mad genius; an alcohol-and-caffeine-powered-coding-machine who spends more time programming and hacking than would be physically recommended. He’s a nerd who isn’t hung up on appearances or much else aside from his work. In almost every scene he’s shown wearing cargo shorts with a pair of Adidas sandals and socks, no matter what the weather.
Andrew Garfield plays Eduardo Saverin, the Igor to Zuckerberg’s Dr. Frankenstein, and draws much of the empathy away from Zuckerberg’s hardcore nerd-rage design and back to the struggle of a guy who seems to be trying to do things the more traditional way; finishing school and working an internship while Zuckerberg drops out and moves to Silicon Valley to pursue the future of Facebook with Napster founder Sean Parker (Justin Timberlake).
You will be severely sucked in before the movie is over, watching what essentially amounts to a bunch of kids fumbling over themselves and turning into multi-billionaires practically overnight. When the movie ends, you find yourself wondering where the story goes from there, but really, all you’d have to do is pick up a newspaper.
Eisenberg’s ability to show intelligent irreverence to just about everything around him really made this movie to me. It made me think that, if I were in his position, I would probably be doing the exact same things. He scoffs at the authorities, the social structure, and the nay-sayers in such amazing fashion that it almost makes you want to stand up, pump your fist in the air, and scream “damn the man!”
He also seems relatable because, no matter where he is with his money or the company in this movie, he’s always dressed down, cool, and casual. They don’t show him out doing what, let’s face it, all the rest of us would do if we suddenly owned a billion dollar business.
As decadent icing on the already delicious cake, there’s the score by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross which sets the moods of each scene perfectly, very reminiscent of what the Dust Brothers did for Fight Club or what Beck did for Scott Pilgrim.
Rarely is there a score I’d say I’d buy to bring home. This is definitely one of them.
Everything in this movie combines to make it one of the most relevant pieces of pop-cinema to current culture. At the dawn of the decade of social networking, it’s good to know the root of it all and fun to get a little peek behind the curtain at what the original developers were thinking.
Overall, a definite must-see and a total laugh-a-minute. This is on my top 5 movies of the year, right near the top.
Bidula’s Last Word: 9.5/10
Keep fighting the good fight.