The Social Network (2010)

socialnetwork_2010_poster
The Social Network (2010)
  • Time: 120 min
  • Genre: Biography | Drama
  • Director: David Fincher
  • Cast: Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, Justin Timberlake

Storyline:

On a fall night in 2003, Harvard undergrad and computer programming genius Mark Zuckerberg sits down at his computer and heatedly begins working on a new idea. In a fury of blogging and programming, what begins in his dorm room soon becomes a global social network and a revolution in communication. A mere six years and 500 million friends later, Mark Zuckerberg is the youngest billionaire in history… but for this entrepreneur, success leads to both personal and legal complications.

2 reviews

  • he very template of an assured masterpiece, The Social Network is what happens when an impeccable script, a visionary director & a committed cast n crew come together under one roof, and work in such perfect harmony with each other. A monumental achievement of modern filmmaking, The Social Network is the defining portrait of a generation & a masterpiece for the ages.

    Illustrating the founding of Facebook, the story of The Social Network follows Mark Zuckerberg; a Harvard sophomore who in his dorm room creates a social networking site which would later take over the digital world unlike anything before or after, but later finds himself being sued by two brothers who claim that he stole their idea & also by the co-founder who was squeezed out of the company.

    Directed by David Fincher, The Social Network presents the renowned filmmaker at his bloody best for he’s crafted the picture with great care, confidence & sophistication, plus the balance between its style & substance are of topmost quality. Written by Aaron Sorkin, the script is easily amongst the decade’s finest for the smallest of ingredients end up making the story all the more engaging.

    Coming to the technical aspects, The Social Network is pretty much flawless. Production design team does a stellar job in providing the required hip, urban ambiance. Cinematography is absolutely perfect; whether it’s the camera movements, colour composition or lighting, Editing is extremely tight for there isn’t any dull moment in the story & it retains its terrific pace from start to finish.

    Marking the beginning of a new director-composer collaboration, the background score of The Social Network is composed by Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross, and for the seamless manner in which its tracks integrate with the film’s events, provide an increased momentum to the story & elevate the cinematic experience to a whole new level, the soundtrack is no less groundbreaking feat in itself.

    The cast comprises of Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, Justin Timberlake, Armie Hammer & Rooney Mara, with each chipping in with brilliant work. Eisenberg is quite a revelation in his role of Mark Zuckerberg & delivers a highly energetic performance, Garfield follows him closely as Eduardo Saverin; co-founder of Facebook, Timberlake is in as Sean Parker while Hammer plays along nicely as Winklevoss twins.

    On an overall scale, The Social Network is a perfect blend of all the ingredients one requires to make a great film & under the assured direction of David Fincher, ends up accomplishing much more. Downright engaging, wildly entertaining & immensely satisfying, The Social Network may not be an entirely accurate account of the events leading to Facebook’s creation but it certainly is modern filmmaking at its very best.

  • “I’m not talking about a dating site, I’m talking about taking the entire social experience of college and putting it online.”

    The most brilliant thing about The Social Network is not its screenplay or editing (which are impressive enough to warrant a separate mention later) but its response to the question “how does one make a film about Facebook?” Is there any material as un-filmable and unexciting as a story about the founder of the popular social networking site?

    Golden Globe-nominated writer Aaron Sorkin and acclaimed director David Fincher team up to deliver one of the best pictures of the year, a solid biopic entry that has a reasonable chance of being nominated for a few major awards during Oscar season.

    Mark Zuckerberg is his name, if you haven’t known already. He is played by Jesse Eisenberg, who together with the excellent ensemble cast of Rooney Mara, Justin Timberlake, and Armie Hammer, gives a performance that is not only quick-witted, but scathingly razor-sharp as well.

    The story follows the Harvard undergraduate as he gets rejected by his girlfriend. That spurs him to create Facemash, a controversial site that compares and rates the ‘hotness’ of two randomly chosen female students. After this episode, he gets the idea for ‘Facebook’ through meetings with collaborators, and starts his site on his own together with the help of financier and co-founder Eduardo Saverin (Andrew Garfield).

    What transforms The Social Network’s seemingly dull premise about a socially-awkward geek with a laptop into something exciting is Sorkin’s extraordinary screenplay. Nearly every minute of the film contains crossfire dialogue that are uttered with such great pace that it makes Ellen Page in Juno (2007) look like she is conversing like an old granny.

    Sorkin intelligently brings in ideas of social interactionism, or the lack of, in our modern technological age. He portrays with scenarios the current generation of ‘plug-ins’ and ‘refreshers’, people whose focus and frame of mind is solely devoted to communicating online, and downplaying what goes on offline.

    In the final scene, Zuckerberg continuously refreshes the page showing his ex-girlfriend Erica’s Facebook profile after adding her in the hope that she would accept him. The film ends before we could know any answer, and that is essentially what Sorkin is trying to comment on – 21st century communication disregards or tends to ignore the emotional message that goes along with the actual message, resulting in the devaluation of interpersonal communication through mediated means.

    The Social Network is made up of two narrative threads: (1) the legal tussle between Zuckerberg and Saverin over the rights to ownership of Facebook and the resulting compensation; and (2), the chronological flashback of the two friends and their development of Facebook during the early years.

    Editors Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall remarkably bring these two threads together via the skillful act of quick cutting and cross-cutting, and this to the sound of a very expertly assembled array of songs that make up the film’s soundtrack. The best sequence of the film, in my opinion, goes to the competitive canoeing sequence, which is edited to the electronic version of ‘In the Hall of the Mountain King’, famously whistled by the villain from Fritz Lang’s M (1931).

    The Social Network is an exceptional take on the traditional and often overused premise involving the theme of friendship and betrayal. At its core, it is a humanist film that explores the relations of people as they are faced with rejection, injustice, theft (in the intellectual property sense), and jealousy.

    The Zuckerberg as brought to the screen by Fincher and Sorkin, while inaccurately portrayed, is a fascinating character who epitomizes the ‘plugged-in’ generation. A generation whose reality is reflected here in the most ironic of interfaces – through the screen that allows us to see this must-watch zeitgeist film.

    GRADE: A (9/10)

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