After heavy media attention and a whirlwind production, David Fincher’s latest film The Social Network is hitting theaters. The film is based on the book “The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook A Tale of Sex, Money, Genius and Betrayal” that follows company founder Mark Zuckerberg from his humble beginnings as an anti-social Harvard student to becoming the youngest billionaire in the country. With that being said, you don’t get that much success, that quickly, without stepping on a few toes along the way.
Check out the review…
- Director: David Fincher
- Screenwriter: Aaron Sorkin, Ben Mezrich (Book: The Accidental Billionaires)
- Cast: Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, Justin Timberlake, Armie Hammer, Max Minghella, Joseph Mazzello, Brenda Song, Rooney Mara
- Cinematography: Jeff Cronenweth
- Original Music By: Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross
The film centers on Mark Zuckerberg, an undergraduate who’s a tech genius and desperate for social acceptance. After his girlfriend breaks up with him during the fall of 2003, he gets drunk and decides to make a website that compares various female students’ pictures to each another — without their permission. The scandal gets him noticed by not only the faculty but by Tyler and Cameron Winkelvoss and Divya Narendra. The trio asks him for help with a social site they’re developing strictly for Harvard students that allows them to create profiles and share photos.
It’s from that point that the story gets a little muddled. Zuckerberg never helps them, instead he builds his own website called Facebook, with some financial aid from his best friend Eduardo Saverin. After Facebook goes live and becomes a social networking phenomenon it catches the attention of Sean Parker the infamous founder of Napter, as well as the Winkelvoss’ and Narendra who are less than thrilled.
- The Cast: The Social Network has a solid cast of young actors. Even Justin Timberlake managed to give a strong performance as the overconfident and slightly manipulative Parker. Armie Hammer is a relative newcomer who seamlessly plays the role of twins (Tyler and Cameron Winkelvoss) like it’s second nature. Eisenberg manages to make you love and loathe Zuckerberg simultaneously, while Garfield’s Eduardo is the heart at the center of all the drama.
- The Point of View: Sorkin’s script sets up the events in a way that everyone’s story is told from their perspective. We saw why Zuckerberg thought Facebook was solely his creation, and you see why Eduardo and the Winkelvoss’ feel betrayed. Everyone’s tale is told.
- The Score: At first listen, Trent Reznor’s score can come across as odd but it adds a daunting feel to the scenes that you don’t expect, but need. He and Atticus Ross treat the music like it’s a companion piece to a corporate espionage film and not just the “Facebook movie.”
- The Direction: It’s no secret that Fincher is an amazing visual director. The difference between him and his peers is he knows how to pull back. He knows when to over and underplay certain scenes. There’s a lot of inter-cutting between simultaneous events but you never get lost because he always keeps things clear and in line with the narrative.
- Talking Heads: This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it’s about what floats your boat. If you’re familiar with Sorkin’s work (A Few Good Men, “The West Wing”) you know how he writes. He’s all about dialogue, but dialogue that means something. The first scene in the film features a fast paced conversation that jumps around from here to there, but still manages to get you from point A to B. You have to pay attention to what people are saying. If you have a short attention span, save your money and your time because you’ll get lost in the shuffle.
The Social Network is a solid film that features good performances and is a cautionary tale of what happens when you mix business with pleasure. The reason the movie works is because Fincher approaches it like any other piece of material. He doesn’t pander to the audience. He makes it high brow even though it can be considered juvenile fluff, fluff that happens to be worth $25 billion.
The Social Network opens in theaters on October 1st
Will you be seeing The Social Network this weekend?