The Social Network

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The Social Network
by Wilson Morales

Distributor: Columbia Pictures (Sony)
Director: David Fincher
Screenwriter: Aaron Sorkin
Cast: Jesse Eisenberg, Justin Timberlake, Andrew Garfield, Joe Mazzello, Rashida Jones, Rooney Mara, Armie Hammer, Max Minghella, Brenda Song
Genre: Drama
MPAA Rating: PG-13 (for sexual content, drug and alcohol use and language)

With all the hype and articles written about ‘The Social Network’ over the last few weeks, after finally seeing the film about how Facebook was started, I must confess, the film is astonishing.

Directed by David Fincher and starring names that are not well-known, with the exception of pop singer/ actor Justin Timberlake, screenwriter Aaron Sorkin has put together a well-acted, intelligent, and compelling film that merits accolades as one of the best films of 2010.

Although not everyone is involved with Facebook, the website has changed the landscape of how people communicate with each other and how friendships are re-established. With technology becoming more advanced to the point where certain human jobs are eliminated, ‘The Social Network’ shows how no matter good a technology is, it all begins with the human brain, and in this case, it began with the genius mind of Matt Zuckerberg (played flawlessly by Jesse Eisenberg).

As a 19 year-old Harvard student who had a burning desire to join an elite society within the school, his angst to dispense “payback” when dumped by girlfriend (played by Rooney Mara) resulted in his infamous creation of the “Facemash” site, where Harvard students choose which female classmate is better looking than the other.

With his Machiavellian attitude shown at the disciplinary hearing, he’s appalled by the fact that his elders didn’t applaud him for breaking into their so-called unbreakable computer system. His actions lead him to be approached by a trio of classmates, including the Winklevoss twins (convincibly played by newcomer Armie Hammer), who want him to create a social network site for Harvard students. Since Zuckerberg already had a majority of the information needed such as photos and email addresses, all he had to do was create the code and implement more categories.

Instead of helping them, Zuckerberg, along with most trusted and only friend, Eduardo Saverin (played by Andrew Garfield) worked day and night and created ‘thefacebook.’ Within days, the site attracted the attention of everyone and Zuckerberg was no longer the pariah on campus. Once the trio became aware of his deception, the legal wars began as to copyright infringement.

Within time, Zuckerberg’s battles extended to taking on Saverin as well once Napter founder Sean Parker (played amusingly by Timberlake) entered the picture and Zuckerberg became infatuated with his higher than God approach.

What makes the film fascinating is the people involved and how Fincher never makes anyone the enemy. Yes, Zuckerberg is perceived to be a liar, cheat, and all sorts of Judas similarities, but as an introvert who wanted to belong somewhere, there’s a soul that’s crying for attention.

The film is clever, insightful and thought-provoking.

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