Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Totes OMG ROFL! It's a Review of The Social Network

To quote YAMB’s very own Blackthorne Esquire: “David Fincher remains the most underrated filmmaker in Hollywood.” (check it out: here) Hopefully with the release of The Social Network Fincher will finally win the Oscar he most definitely deserves. His latest film centers on the character of Mark Zuckerberg, who as most everyone now knows founded the iconic website Rather than being little more than a semi-interesting if not all that memorable biopic though, The Social Network instead give it’s viewers a fascinating look at modern society.

This computer has like twelve fangirls. NBD.
Mark Zuckerberg here is played by Jesse Eisenberg who up till this point had been largely known as “the other Michael Cera.” After this film, the saying perhaps should be reversed to Michael Cera being “the other Jesse Eisenberg.” Eisenberg delivers a wonderful performance, building a totally believable portrait of an anti-social genius determined to create the world’s largest social network. He is a 21st century Machiavelli, willing to do whatever it takes, including betraying his best friend Eduardo Saverin as well as engage in a legal war with a few fellow Harvard students, to build his digital empire.

Zuckerberg’s motivation seems largely to stem from a lack of belonging. The first scene in The Social Network shows Zuckerberg discussing his deep desire to gain entry into one of Harvard University exclusive academic clubs. Of course, not coming from an upper class elite socialite family, the likelihood of such a thing occurring is rather minimal. Girls are a problem too. Misogyny seems to run rampant in The Social Network and Zuckerberg is hit early on, being dumped by his girlfriend Erica after being labeled not simply a “nerd” but an “asshole.” The solution Zuckerberg seems to come up with to deal with these issues is to become the master of his own world residing on the internet, where the playing field is equalized but with Zuckberg as king of the club (this might be a good time to mention his business card is labeled “I’m CEO, bitch.”)

Zuckerberg’s portrayal in the film may or may not be considered accurate to his real life personality but that seems to be almost the point. Reality, The Social Network seems to say, is often blurry and hard to define. Throughout the film, Zuckerberg constantly clicks away at his computer. In one scene, he is shown trying to befriend his former girlfriend Erica via his facebook profile page. For several minutes, the master himself stares into his creation almost lost in it yet trying to hold on to this one last real relationship, even if it is a lost one. It is fairly morbid stuff being presented but never too dark: some much needed humor and levity is usually added when the mood needs lightening.

As far as pacing and such as goes, the film does a great job of keeping everything moving right along. With a dialogue heavy script like the one written for The Social Network the potential for a slow, tedious feel was not altogether unlikely but fortunately never ended up being as such. Supporting characters present in the cast all held strong. Justin Timberlake breaks out into a surprisingly strong role as Sean Parker, a playboy tech tycoon and mastermind behind Napster who ends up joining Mark Zuckerberg. Think sex, drugs, and rock and roll, only replace rock and roll with computers. More surprising than Justin Timberlake being a good actor is how exciting it is consider that the upcoming Spider-Man reboot could actually be good seeing as Andy Garfield, who here plays Eduardo Saverin, is at the head. 

The Social Network, in all honesty, could be talked about for quite some time. It is as timely as movies come and addresses issues as varied as technology, human relationships, and class structure all in a nuanced, intelligent manner. At this point, instead of adding a final sentence, let’s just insert this controversial question: David Fincher vs. Chris Nolan? Who wins? 

"You Sack of Wine!"
-Nate S

Official YAMB Grade: Like

Nate S Grade:

Aesthetics: A-

Story: A

Characters: A

Acting: A

Overall Grade: A

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