The Social Network

The Social Network (2010) Director: David Fincher

David Fincher is known for his gritty modern films like Panic RoomFight ClubSeven, The Curious Case of Benjamin ButtonZodiakThe Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and Gone Girl, as well as the House of Cards series, and the Mindhunter series. The Social Network is one of his better films. He likes mapping out long camera angles with CGI effects.

The Social Network film poster.png

At any rate, The Social Network tells a biased story of the founding of “TheFacebook”, the social networking website. It details the rise of a robotic and antisocial Mark Zuckerberg as he founds (or perhaps steals) a college networking site at Harvard University. It grows and expands to other ivy league schools, and eventually to Silicon Valley, where Zuckerberg becomes the world’s youngest self-made billionaire. The whole film is told through inter-spliced scenes of the lawsuit deposition of the other early founders of Facebook at Harvard. The film explores themes of ambition, friendship, betrayal, and genius. Digital relationship-building took precedence over real friendships in the creation of the world’s largest online dystopian social platform. 

Jesse Eisenberg brilliantly plays Mark Zuckerberg, and other notable names like Justin Timberlake and Rashida Jones also appear in the film. Timberlake plays Sean Parker, the smooth-talking, playboy and Silicon Valley investor who founded Napster until it went bankrupt due to lawsuits, he was chased out of the next company he founded, before he got involved with venture capital investing and opened significant opportunities for Facebook. Trent Reznor (of Nine Inch Nails) and Atticus Ross scored the film -which opens with the White Stripes’s Ball and a Biscuit and closes with The Beatles’s Baby You’re A Rich Man. It also features a brilliantly eerie cover of Radiohead’s Creep. Aaron Sorkin wrote the screenplay, writer of other great screenplays like A Few Good MenCharlie Wilson’s WarMoneyball, and others. For writing The Social Network, he received an Academy Award.

Review

★★★★☆

The film is brilliant and preys on the changing public perception of Facebook, as well as much of Silicon Valley, as once the harbinger of freedom and self-expression, to suddenly becoming Orwellian and tyrannical. Mark Zuckerberg being a significant target of this public ire. The film has continued to age well, as Facebook has continued to draw increased scrutiny for being accused of being corrupt and perhaps even treasonous. The film beautifully portrays both the excitement and the tragedy of the modern social network.

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