Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Social Network (2010)

After watching David Fincher's film "The Social Network" I have to say that along with Aaron Sorkin's screenplay the film really involves its audience in the characters circumstances. I did not really come to this film expecting anything, but I found myself very involved in the characters.

The story takes place in flash back mostly, but the way Fincher does it you don't mind at all, and it does not draw you out of the movie by doing so. Mark Zuckerberg the creator of Facebook is drawn with a very brood brush. You wonder if any of the film is based on actual events, or whether it's taken from many different accounts. I would assume that the filmmakers painted the characters in brood strokes due the fact that the characters in the movie are based on actual people who are still alive and working. Being that we live in a very litigious society I would think that the filmmakers are walking a tightrope of sorts. Still this does not distract from the story. The story is strong, and when you strip it all down the story is about two friends who betray each other.

How Fincher shows Zuckerberg create Facebook is remarkable. You are drawn into the creation of what would become a successful venture beyond any ones expectations. Even its creator, and that's what makes it fascinating. The characters are the ones we are so drawn to. Fincher portrays Zuckerberg as a driven individual who is very gifted in computer programming, yet lacks the social skills to deal with people. Every innovator or inventor had a vision and Fincher shows Zuckerberg as that individual. The flaw of our hero is his social graces. What Zuckerberg wants he gets. Zuckerberg's vision is all consuming and their is a cost to that and Finchers shows what that cost is. Our characters are not evil or good. They are just driven individuals and Fincher shows us even before the creation of Facebook that we are a society driven by class, and status. Fincher and Sorkin do a remarkable job at holding up a mirror to all of us and showing us that our love of status is what fuels Facebook itself.

The cinematography is sepia in tone or it feels that way. There are no bright colors in this film, and it's pace goes back and forth from future to past with ease. The dialogue is crisp, and the characters are engaging.

I cannot find any faults to this film. In fact it sort of scares me. How a simple invention like Facebook can dominate a landscape such as ours. Zuckerberg is not guilty in creating something like Facebook. He is only its inventor, and he saw that it had a life of its own through its users. Early in the film we see that in some way Zuckerberg was driven by status. It happens right in the beginning of the film when Zuckerberg's girlfriend ends their relationship. Through their dialogue you can hear our main character talk about status, and worth. It's a set-up for the whole film to come, and Fincher does it so well.

What "the Social Network" ultimately does is that it creates some interesting characters who create a phenomenon known as Facebook. Whether Facebook is good or bad is still too early to tell, and in a way we are all complicit in Facebooks success. The movie itself does not hold any judgement to anyone of the characters. Instead it shows us how we were the ones who created the monster in the first place, and whose to say that it is a monster. Maybe it’s just evolution, and Facebooks time has come and Zuckerberg was the only one who could see that. Either way it's a very well made movie and quite engaging. Jesse Eisenberg gives a wonderful performance as Zuckerberg, and I also liked Andrew Garfield who plays his best friend Eduardo Saverin. I do believe that the writing will get an Oscar for Aaron Sorkin. Also Justin Timberlake is good as Sean Parker, and critics should take note of that. All in all a very well worth movie to watch, and one that exhilarates and frightens at the same time, but only in a sutile way, and that's what makes "The Social Network" a very good film.

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