Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Social Network Review

A (9.6)

I don't remember the time when Hollywood announced they're making a movie about Facebook but I've initially heard of it because I was googling the band Radiohead and there was a trailer where a cover version of their song Creep was used. But then as the summer had got to a departure, The Social Network then become a box office hit in the US as well as here in Australia because of a strong word-of-mouth the kind of marketing where audiences spread how good a movie is. So The Social Network was one movie I wanted to watch because I thought a movie about Facebook would be interesting.

I haven't seen this film from the opening weekend because I was studying for my final exams. But today after I've finished my exams, I've finally got a chance to see it. And when I was sitting in the cinema, there was no one there because it was a school day and i was allowed to have a rest day after the exams.

In The Social Network or as I call it ' The Facebook Movie', Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg) was discussing finals clubs at Harvard to his girlfriend Erica Albright (Rooney Mara) at a noisy bar filled with music from The White Stripes. Minutes later it turned icy where at the end of the scene, Albright dumps him for being too arrogant and obsessed about clubs and called an asshole. Zuckerberg hits back by calling her a 'bitch' on his LiveJournal blog and then along with with his dorm mate Eduardo Saverin (Andrew Garfield) started a website rating girls at Harvard based on their hotness.

Zuckerberg gets in trouble with the admins, but then attracts the attention of the Winklevoss twins Tyler and Cameron (Armie Hammer) and their business partner Divya Narendra (Max Minghella). There they offered him a job to monitor a Harvard social network called ConnectU. Zuckerberg then works on his own and created a similar website called Facebook.

Wherever he create a website he would attract any attention to businessmen associated with the net. And that was Sean Parker (Justin Timberlake), former founder of the torrent site Napster. But when the Winklevoss twins found out, they would sue him in Federal Court. Even joining them was Saverin who wants to get his share of the investment where it was suggested that Zuckerberg's best friend has no role in the website.

The Social Network is almost cream of the crop. It is directed by David Fincher who made Fight Club, Seven, The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button and Zodiac. Fincher's style of filmmaking would be controversial because sometimes it involves analysing the egos of the male, especially the testoterone fueled greed of Man. This was done in Fight Club where Brad Pitt's character and himself is turned into a role model for all males. In The Social Network, the ego is also explored but for a younger generation. He know how dark the movie should be and you may recognised the tone of the minimum lighting and cinematography.

The screenplay is terrific as it is written by Aaron Sorkin (he wrote A Few Good Men, Charlie Wilson's War and created the great TV show The West Wing). Sorkin's main gift in screenwriting is that he use the Walk and Talk method. The dialogue is almost at bullet-speed when it comes to how the dialogue is used. Sorkin usually adds politics in his screenplays where characters had almost come into aiming for power. Even if the film lacks quotes that would have been memorable, the dialogue has full on ambition and engaging and entertaining.

The cast is almost wonderful. Jesse Einseberg who come from any film ending with 'land' and The Squid And The Whale executes the irony of Mark Zuckerberg sublimely. His character is more narcissistic, white angry and almost self-centred that he cares for nobody. This makes Zuckerberg (probably the real person himself) more hated but then as the film progresses, Zuckerberg fills himself with regret for what he made for himself making him a tragic hero. What makes his character more engaging was the soundtrack from Trent Reznor from Nine Inch Nails. It almost similar to the industrial music NIN had did. It is more informing of how Zuckerberg becomes almost into an annilator.

Andrew Garfield who will be the next Spiderman takes his character to a point where he has to be treated to a pulp from almost everybody including Zuckerberg as well as his Asian girlfriend. We would feel sympathy as he would lose everything to him and ends up being betrayed by Zuckerberg. Armie Hammer is almost tribulating as the Winklevoss twins. Also tribulating was Justin Timberlake as Sean Parker. He received credit for Alpha Dog, but as Parker, Timberlake is smart and funny as the character who I think looks like an asshole.

Some people who would be offended by this movie would be people who get bored by movies, the people depicted especially Mark Zuckerberg who is still alive and feminists. The misogyny in The Social Network is almost high. Girls are being treated as sex objects. Honestly, I'm not a fan of misogyny in movie but the sexism is there because Sorkin describes how men would be so angry towards women and describes how each character are infuriating if 'the cheerleader still goes out with the quarterback'.

People debated whether this movie was fact or fiction. Well unless you've read at the Facebook article in Wikipedia, you wouldn't believed it was true because most of the plot is the same as the information in the article. But Sorkin explains that he researched the lawsuits regarding Facebook and looked into the depositions of them.

But the one question everybody's asking is why see it? Well I've watched it because I thought a movie about Facebook would be interesting. And I find that Facebook belongs to a generation of gadget users and defines the generation as Facebook is used by 500 million users in their everyday lives. It shows how we are becoming narcissists and that every time we say something harsh to our friends, all of us would feel deeply hurt. The lawsuits involving the Winklevoss twins and Eduardo Savirin is also fascinating.

However one thing you should remember about The Social Network is that Zuckerberg is a character so reflective to almost everyone. Facebook users, schoolyard bullies, intellects and people who have low social skills. These people would have a great hatred towards anyone or everyone if they assume that we are not following their orders and turn their backs.

Honestly I have too much to say about this movie, but the story is amazing as half follows the structure of Greek and Shakesperean tragedy. Funny cos this reminds me of Scarface.

I have a Facebook profile for almost a year now and after watching this, I was impressed. The Social Network may join the ranks of Citizen Kane or There Will Be Blood about men ovulating on about power, but I'm not quite sure if this is a modern classic.

'Like' this cinematic genius.

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