Thursday, October 07, 2010

The Social Network: Movie Review

It’s saying something about facebooks’ popularity when most people know the new film The Social Network as “The Facebook Movie.” It says even something more that the film uses restraint in telling the story of facebook without delving much into its popularity, functionality or even purpose. If one honestly had no clue what facebook is, they would probably still not know much about it after seeing this movie and honestly probably not care. In The Social Network, facebook itself serves as a sort of McGuffin, a term Hitchcock used to describe a major element of the plot that drove the story forward, yet was really insignificant in relation to the events of the film. Instead in The Social Network, we get characters who are weak, petty, indecisive, repulsive, sympathetic, excited, awkward, conceited and most importantly…all pretty clueless when it comes to dealing with the new fame and fortune that Facebook drops in their lap quite suddenly.

Jesse Eisenberg plays Mark Zuckerburg…the co-founder and programmer of Facebook. Now, I honestly have no clue what mark Zuckerburg is like in real life, his speech cadences or manner of addressing his fellow human beings (outside his wooden delivery as a guest on The Simpsons) so I am not able to rightly say how much Eisenberg channels the persona of Zuckerburg. It is safe to say that I am a huge fan of how Eisenberg portrayed the lead protagonist. He is not a likeable character by any means, and has the knack for alienating and making an enemy out of everyone except his best friend played by future spidey Andrew Garfield. It is the relationship between Garfield’s Eduardo and Zuckerburg that is the heart of the story, and what a twisted, innocent, backstabbing heart it is.

Garfield has the least amount of work to do in this film since he seems like the only normal down to earth person at Harvard and the rest of the film for that matter. Is he honestly the only one that is able to reason logically when this whole Facebook thing exploded? Justin Timberlake plays the napster party guy Sean Parker who seems fun at first but morphs into the slime ball you love to hate. Both actors do a pretentious best that play identical twins Winklevossi (he he) who claim the Zuckerburg stole their idea and can’t bear the thought that anyone could be more popular than they are.

As a movie…the film is actually quite boring. It’s all dialogue, which in this case is a good thing. I was a huge fan of Aaron Sorkin’s short loved but brilliant show Studio 60 and this film proves he is a genius at quick banter, meaningful introspections and very revealing personal speaking which never comes across that way. I was also glad to see David Fincher move away from his more dark and violent material (yes you Se7en and Zodiac) and prove that you don’t need blood and murder to create compelling drama. There are flashes of brilliance in his style (amen rowing scene) and he somehow keeps the audience engaged through almost 2 hours of solid dialog and talking heads.

Did I actually use compelling and boring to describe the same movie? Yes, I did…because that is what this is. No twists, no big reveal just seriously flawed people trying to navigate themselves around each other with each trying to come out as the top dog. While that may seem trite and rather a downer, Fincher does a stupendous job of showing us that in such a dog-eat-dog world nobody is a winner. All the success and money in the world will never change who you are when you started out…so make sure that someone is a person you can live with, or you will be left friendless and lonely…no matter how many facebook friends you have.

Final Consensus:
See it now!!!!
See it in theaters!!! (not for the special effects, but just to support good moviemaking)
Rent it on DVD/BluRay!!
Wait for it on TV!
Don’t Bother

Post a Comment