Synopsis: The story about the founders of the social network, Facebook.
Release Date: October 1, 2010 MPAA Rating: PG-13
Mark Zuckerberg is the youngest billionaire in the world. This is the story of how he earned that title. Although “earned” is not the correct word to use when referring to his success. This success is of course from the creation of the website facebook.com, or as it was first named Thefacebook.com. If you are not aware of what facebook is, you are in the minority and quite frankly may have been living under a rock for the past four years when it has really taken over the social media experience on the Internet. As the film states at one point, “people in Bosnia do not have roads but they have facebook”. It has become a phenomena of proportions no one could have imagined. Not only a place for college students to connect with one another, as was the original intention, it is now an open site for any and every person to join, regardless of University affiliation. As for bridging the generational gap, it has done that in spades, where people from the age of 6 to the age of 80 and beyond are using it daily. Searching for long lost loves, old classmates, and keeping in touch with those close to them in a way unheard of before. The day to day business of buying coffee is now broadcast for all to see, “checking in” to a location commonplace, opening up the ability to know where someone is at all times of the day. Facebook has changed the way we interact with the people we know. Yes, your grandmother is on facebook; the choice of whether to accept her friend request is your own moral predicament to ponder. How did one website become the go to, and end all, of online social networking? The Social Network, based on the novel The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook: A Tale of Sex, Money, Genius and Betrayal by Ben Mezrich, aims to tell the story of how it was created and the turmoil that ensued between all involved. The film is successful in offering the relevant information so that we, as viewers, know just how this highly addicting website came to be. What it also does, and possibly unintentionally, is make you wish you were not supporting such a site given the shady history of its formation.
Harvard University, the Fall of 2003. Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg) has just been dumped by his girlfriend and he deserved it. He is drunk, angry, and bitter. His revenge, to use his exceptional programming skills to create a website where people rate the women at the school against each other while writing on his blog negative remarks and hurtful comments about his ex Erica (Rooney Mara). It gets over 22,000 hits in a couple of hours. He makes a name for himself on campus, gets put on academic probation, and is hated by every girl. For the first time ever, Mark has a social status. Before long he is approached by three fellow students about joining an in-progress website exclusive to the Harvard community where people can meet online and share things about themselves. He agrees to join in, but instead takes the basic concept and develops something greater, but similar, while leading them on that he is working on their site. His partners for thefacebook.com are those closest to him, including his best friend Eduardo Saverin (Andrew Garfield). With the launch of “his” site begins a spiraling out of control mess. Enter now the main plot of the film, the lawsuits Mark is embroiled in as he defends his facebook, and the actions taken in order to make it what it is today.
Told in a variety of flashbacks, the present day activities all take place in conference rooms of attorney’s during depositions. As a piece is uncovered in the meeting we are taken back to that place in history and shown the scene unfold instead of having it explained through dialogue. A nice choice for a biographical piece such as this by screenwriter Aaron Sorkin as the generation this film may appeal to most is used to the visual aide form of storytelling. But besides from the occasional sarcastic remark that generates a laugh the movie itself has absolutely no motivational flow or viewer pull. There are no observed risks or great stakes for the characters. One might equate it to html script: it is telling you something, but it has no finesse on its own. As for the main character Mark, he comes across as wholly insecure but using cockiness and his intelligence to suggest he is not. To like Mark is impossible, especially as the film unfolds and you see exactly what he did in order to get where he is today. Even more so, he gets more and more annoying as the film progresses making it very difficult to watch. This is a film full of lying, and no apologies. Mark does not see anything wrong with what he has done to those around him, including screwing his best friend out of the company while keeping the fame-whore Sean Parker (Napster phenom) on board. All of the emotion you feel is that of pity for Mark Zuckerberg. The philosophy behind facebook is “Facebook helps you connect and share with the people in your life”. Mark may be a billionaire but he is a lonely one, even if he has 500 million friends.
On a final note….the most disturbing thing about this film is how it is being hailed as a film about a generation. If the story of Mark Zuckerberg stands for the current generation they are a vengeful, thieving, dishonest, yet talented people, who are easily influenced and incapable of respecting each other. A people who are so obsessed with social status everything else means nothing. While a simple act of getting dumped by a girl can perpetuate your entire life so that you feel the need to show that you can be successful, at any cost. For in the end of The Social Network it all reverts back to the girl, Erica, and Mark’s obsession with having her notice him again. I for one hope she denied his friend request.
Cast and Crew
- Director(s): David FincherMichael De Luca
- Producer(s): Aaron Sorkin
- Screenwriter(s): Jesse Eisenberg (Mark Zuckerberg)Rooney Mara (Erica Albright)Bryan Barter (Billy Olsen)
- Story: Justin Timberlake (Sean Parker)
- Cast: Andrew Garfield (Eduardo Saverin) Kirk BaxterAngus WallJeff CronenwethDonald Graham Burt
- Cinematographer: Trent Reznor
- Production Designer(s):
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- Casting Director(s):
- Music Score:
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- Country Of Origin: USA