Based on the book Accidental Billionaires, The Social Network (2010), directed by David Fincher and written by Aaron Sorkin depicts the events surrounding the development of Facebook and its founder, Mark Zuckerberg, particularly the circumstances that led to various lawsuits against Zuckerberg for allegedly stealing the concept for the site and cheating his friend of the profits.
The film stars Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, Armie Hammer, and Justin Timberlake among others. It won three Academy Awards: Best Writing, Best Achievement in Film Editing, and Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score in 2011.
Most of the story is said in flashbacks. In the beginning, we are introduced to Zuckerberg, who is a Harvard student, and his girlfriend, played by Rooney Mara, in a revealing dialogue that brilliantly sets the tone for the two hours that follow. After a verbal spat, his girlfriend breaks up with him and he heads back to his dorm room looking for a form of distraction.
While blogging insults for his ex and getting drunk, he hacks into Harvard’s computer system and launches ‘facemash.com,’ where students may rate other students in terms of hotness against each other. Gradually he gets expelled from Harvard for his doings. The events after this led to a revolutionary online sensation with over 500 million active users.
However, as the site’s popularity grows, The Winklevoss’s and his former best friend simultaneously sue him, which is where the film’s narrative begins.
Zuckerberg is shown in the film as a driven, spiteful and intelligent character. He is unconcerned about money, and the entire motive for the creation of Facebook appears to be some type of social approval. When it comes to acting, Jesse has done an excellent part in bringing out even the minute details of the character. The flashbacks allow you to become fully immersed in his psyche as the film unfolds, and the experience becomes absolutely fascinating.
The film’s excellent cinematography, framing, editing, music and off-colour palettes deserve special mention. Its structure, on the other hand, is flawless, smoothly flowing between the main narrative and the subplots. Those familiar with Sorkin’s work would agree that he is one of the best screenwriters and one of the reasons for this is the way he writes dialogue and develops a scene. The story relies on dialogue to advance the plot, and the audience is kept engaged by the constant movement, the sub-plots and the actor’s performances.
The tone of the film creates an increasing sense of unease among many people. The Social Network is the type of film that requires a second viewing to fully appreciate both the director’s and writers’ mastery, as well as the cast’s outstanding performance.
Image source Facebook