Reviews of The Social Network
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Quand David Fincher s’attaque au phénomène de ce début du vingtième siècle qu’est Facebook, on peut rester dubitatif quant à ce choix. Qu’y a-t-il à dire dans cette success story qui a fait de Mark Zuckerberg le plus jeune milliardaire de tous les temps? Et bien on va parler du créateur justement.
L’introduction du film est une discussion entre Zuckerberg et sa petite amie de l’époque. Elle est en train de rompre et nous présente finalement un personnage décalé, à part, dans son monde et surtout prêt à tout pour y arriver. En fait, Zuckerberg va se faire petit à petit des ennemis. A noter que cette introduction du film est totalement imbuvable tant la discussion part rapidement dans tous les sens et qu’il n’y a aucun réel travail cinématographique derrière.
En fait, le film ne se déroule pas toujours chronologiquement et se concentre essentiellement sur deux procès intentés à Mark Zuckerberg. Le premier est celui d’Eduardo, ancien meilleur ami et créateur associé de Facebook. Zuckerberg l’a éliminé entretemps. Le second est celui des membres de Harvard dont le créateur de Facebook aurait piqué les idées pour son propre compte et inventer le réseau social que l’on connait maintenant.
Malheureusement, dans cette histoire, on sait de quoi il en retourne. Quiconque suit les actualités et tout ce qui tourne autour de Facebook est au courant des faits rapportés dans le film. Bien sûr, on en apprend toujours quelque peu, mais on aurait dit que le cinéaste voulait montrer comment Facebook s’est créé et les problèmes de son auteur à un public qui ne connait pas le réseau social. Hors, dans mon cas et suivant l’actualité, j’ai été un peu déçu sur ce point.
Le reste, les anecdotes, les caractères des personnages, etc. sont évidemment sujets à caution. Si les faits semblent avérer et corrects, le film est une fiction et il ne faut pas prendre tout ce qui est montré comme la réalité absolue. Toutefois, l’oeuvre cerne bien, je pense, le personnage de Zuckerberg, un homme qui était prêt à tout pour atteindre ses objectifs, ses buts dans la vie. Le personnage est quelqu’un qui se fond très bien dans notre mode de vie actuelle, dans cette société libérale.
En fait, l’histoire n’est pas la plus grande force du film. Ce n’est pas non plus du côté de la réalisation qu’il faut s’attendre à des miracles. De manière générale, et hormis l’introduction, Fincher offre un film plutôt maitrisé, mais également convenu et sans génie. Pas de séquences très réussies ou qui resteront gravées dans les mémoires. Pas de grands ratés toutefois.
C’est plutôt les acteurs qui sont à féliciter. Andrew Garfield et Justin Timberlake se débrouillent très bien dans leur rôle de seconds couteaux importants à l’histoire et à la création de Facebook. C’est la première fois aussi que je voyais un film avec Timberlake et j’ai plutôt apprécié. Evidemment, c’est Jesse Eisenberg qui rafle le jackpot. Le garçon est sensationnel dans son rôle et en plus, il peut se targuer d’avoir une petite ressemblance physique avec Zuckerberg.
Au final, le film est plutôt sympathique, mais pas inoubliable. Les acteurs et finalement la réalisation plutôt maitrisée et rythmée de Fincher permettent à l’oeuvre de se voir sans trop s’ennuyer. Mais on n’a pas non plus un petit bijou incontournable.
- Currently 3.0/5 Stars.
Facebook has been such a huge social phenomenon that I hardly ever bothered to learn about the brain who was behind it. However, that doesn’t mean I expected The Social Network to provide me with a hard educational lesson about the man, given it’s hard for cinema to be word-to-word accurate about real people and events. That knowledge allowed me to go with the flow and accept the film for whatever fictitious approaches that David Fincher and Aaron Sorkin went for with their directing and writing, respectively, towards the story of Mark Zuckerberg and his friends and colleagues who helped bring Facebook to life. They kept the film as an entertaining film through and through and the purpose they served was to offer a dramatic examination of how genius and success often leads to sacrifice and betrayal.
Since the film depicts the real life lawsuits made against Zuckerberg by the Winklevoss twins and his friend Eduardo Saverin, it should be safe to say that the film is accurate enough to say that Zuckerberg made enemies out of friends and acquaintances, however respected and successful he is today. Even though the portrayals of Zuckerberg as a calculating smart-mouthed nerd, Sean Parker as an egocentric manipulator, or Saverin as a nervous victim of betrayal may come off as too extreme and colorful, they are full of many dimensions that prevents the audience from identifying a hero, villain, or victim. Jesse Eisenberg is so effective at putting levels of restraint on his emotions as Zuckerberg, a contrast to the comedic films he had done beforehand, that he carries similarity to Al Pacino’s performance of Michael Corleone, a person so consumed by his ambition, his genius, and his success that he ends up alone and confused as he stares blankly at his laptop, deep-in-thought, limited socially by his own creation. He never fails to be funny in his awkward fast-talking attitude or intimidating in his cold stares and demonizing remarks on the people who attack him.
Zuckerberg is also caught between different voices as he pushes forward with his creation of Facebook, particularly between those of Eduardo Saverin and Sean Parker. Saverin behaves nervously and desperately as the one trying to keep stability and concern about the business and Parker is the sleazy gambler who keeps tempting Zuckerberg with bigger advances on Facebook that can accumulate their benefits. Andrew Garfield portrays Saverin with a mixture of nervous energy, humor, and vulnerability that he attracts a lot of sympathy on the basis that the events surrounding the business are having a heavier impact on his psyche than Zuckerberg or Parker can understand and that the worst of outcomes is coming for him. Justin Timberlake makes Parker very slick and cool, which fits with Timberlake’s own status as a celebrity in music and film, yet also makes him suspicious and manipulative in how his plans for the business put Zuckerberg and Saverin at odds with each other and begin the downward spiral of their friendship. It’s not to say that Parker is altogether a villain since he’s offered a lot that is helpful for Facebook, but that his ego and wild behavior is uncomfortable for a saner person like Saverin and it becomes difficult for the two to get along and agree on anything. Parker is blind and savvy about the glamorous and hip image of wealth and success that he fails to see how he can also go down as well with Zuckerberg and Parker’s failing friendship. He keeps trying to make the best out of any situation as though that’s his key to being an ambitious and hard-working businessman, but he’s still too young and egocentric to see the drawbacks.
The film doesn’t offer any real resolution that is positive or negative for the multiple characters, even though we are left with information in the epilogue about how the real people had their fair share after the lawsuits were settled. Still, there is a bleak and bittersweet statement about how much the drive for success has left Zuckerberg broken and the more the film cuts back and forth between the time frames of the building of Facebook and the lawsuit depositions that occurred afterwards, the more aware we are made of how differently things turned out from how they were before. It keeps building up the tension as to how the Zuckerberg could settle his disputes with his friends and enemies. It would have been more traditional to make the film work as a biopic that flowed in chronological order in the telling of Zuckerberg’s story, yet these non-linear juxtapositions reflect the small span of years that the events took place that anything that happened was no so far apart to forget. It doesn’t take decades or centuries as in most biopics or historical dramas, especially since these events took place a few years ago and the people involved in those events are still alive and young. The structure keeps us intrigued as to what Zuckerberg did wrong that would put him in this legal situation that the film continuously cuts to. It does make the pace of the film feel choppy at times in how distorted the structure is, but the more the film cuts at specific key moments that arouse humorous reactions – such as the cut to the line “a billion dollars” at the deposition after we Saverin asks Parker what’s cool – the more it flows solidly well.
The music effectively helps the film move at a good pace in the electronic style that composers Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross used, which almost embodies the electronic process of working on the internet that the characters are consumed with. It makes the film feel rhythmic in how it parallels with the busy and chaotic process that the characters go through to achieve their ambitious goals, particularly the scene where the Winklevoss twins row exhaustingly in the Henley Royal Regatta to an electronic version of “In the Hall of the Mountain King”. It brings out the extremity and desperation of what it is in the human spirit to be successful and it parallels with the twins’ own determination to not only succeed in this competition, but also in their agenda to sue Zuckerberg for supposedly stealing their idea of Harvard Connection to create Facebook. The characters work hard towards their goals like electronic machines and the music contributes to that feelings, signifying what an electronic world it is today with the extreme advances in technology, least of all in the internet.
Of course, even though the film deals with the creation of one of the biggest online networks, the internet itself is not the big concern of the story, but it’s a symbol of how mechanical humans are becoming in pursuing its goals that sometimes they must wipe away their feelings and second thoughts in order to hasten to the end result. The fact that Zuckerberg and his colleagues become so desperate to get their business through like fast machines, the less inclined they are to feel sorry and apologize for the costs that come with success. We all know how successful Facebook has been and how it’s in front of many faces today that it’s a unique chance for David Fincher to tackle that subject in a film, but to also make the personal relationships that took place behind its creation and the consequences they faced equally important. This film cannot easily make me hate Zuckerberg for how he betrayed Saverin or shut out his sensitivity for people’s feelings because the film’s portrayal of him is obviously different from who he is in real life. In the end, The Social Network relies heavily on the goal of making a dramatic semi-comic statement about the modern world and the way social relationships have changed, especially with how easily they are limited to internet access. Since the end result of the film is entertaining and thought-provoking, that truly counts as a cinematic achievement if not an accurate retelling of modern events.
- Currently 5.0/5 Stars.
I admit that the story of Zuckerberg and how the nerd became the world’s youngest millionaire by starting out drunken in his room on campus is intriguing, the more so because it is actually a true story (or at least based on a true story), but is it worth and interesting enough to make a movie out of it. I say no.
You, see, the film is never really interesting in the sense that I am guessing or anticipating what might happen next. Of course, the scriptwriters were limited by what actually happened, but then again, why make a movie out of it. Zuckerberg invents something good, by accident it becomes successful and now everybody wants money from him, they get their money and that is it. No twists, no intrigue, no moments of doubt, no amazing acting, no social comments, nada, zip, just a simple old story.
Don’t get me wrong, the film was good and I enjoyed it, the cast was very interesting, playing very well together and filling their individual roles picture perfect but why this is considered a masterpiece I don’t know. Keep in mind that this is based on a book and when you take the “story” away and the characters, there is not much left that the filmmakers actually did, apart from putting it to celluloid, without taking or adding anything to it.
What I enjoyed the most was the cast of young and highly energetic actors, Eisenberg, Mara, Garfield and Timberlake all did a good job.
A good movie, slightly better than your average fare and at least it was not cheesy or overly romantic, but it is not a masterpiece.
- Currently 4.0/5 Stars.
After a second viewing i felt that i had to up the rating a half star because of the amazing atmosphere that every aspect of this film creates from start to finish I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. It got me thinking mainly because of the masterful way Fincher portrayed the characters and their psychological problems. The story played out well and was suspenseful to the end. The end came and I almost wasn’t ready for it to end which shows how compelling it was. It had depth thanks to the characters, but I feel the could have dug deeper into the story they told because it seemed there was more beneath the surface.
At its core, this is a social commentary on the decline of personal skills in leu of social networking. It also demonstrates how technology can make us closed off and spiteful. It feels odd writing this in an online review for the film, but I’m not sure Fincher would want it any other way.
- Currently 5.0/5 Stars.
There was a time when the response to the word Facebook was only, “huh?” Now we live in an age where many cannot go without it. Social networking has been primed for a lampooning for a considerable while and who better to deliver that than Fight Club helmer David Fincher and writer Aaron Sorkin?
If there a difference between dedication and obsession Mark Zuckerburg (Jesse Eisenburg) doesn’t know it. He created Facemash to spite an ex-girlfriend (Rooney Mara). Said site later grows to become so popular he crashes the network at Harvard. The Winklevoss twins want him to create the most exclusive site for Harvard students, but Zuckerburg is beyond that. He wants a billion dollar entity. Zuckerburg then spends the rest of the time defending it from the man he thought was a good friend in Eduardo Saverin (Andrew Garfield). And a lurid lifestyle never before experienced offered by Napster founder Sean Parker sends Zuckerburg to unparalleled heights right before the fall.
It’s ironic that Zuckerburg created Facebook. A man that alienated from society, why create a social network? Because then he creates the rules, and you have to play by them. Eisenburg, for some time, has lamentably been labeled Michael Cera-lite, but he comes into his own in The Social Network. There is a lingering trace of malice behind Zuckerburg’s cold eyes in the light of the reflection of his monitor and he has proven to moviegoers everywhere that he is his own man. Michael Cera couldn’t dream of pulling off this performance.
The book struggled to get past the conventions of most rock n’ roll biopics. The source material from which the film is based never elevates past debauchery and courtroom drama. Sure, the story lends itself to sex and drugs, but more was expected – whether it was a reflection of this generation, or a condonement of greed and excess in the aughts – and I can’t help but feel it wasn’t delivered. The film, however, exceeds everything expected of it. It’s been compared to Citizen Kane as the film of its generation: a story of a young man who obtained everything he ever wanted and found out the taxing toll of getting what he wish for. I wouldn’t hail The Social Network as a masterpiece yet, but after a few more viewings it could grow on me.
I had always been a fan of Sorkin’s work on The West Wing and his script pops here with every barb hoisted between Zuckerburg and Saverin. Everything uttered onscreen feels alive and is delivered handily by Eisenburg, Garfield and Timberlake as the main triumvirate of Social Network. Garfield – recently casted as the new Spiderman – is superb here and in a different world where the Academy didn’t vote for acting categories by who has paid their dues Garfield, and Eisenburg would get nominations.
By the way could they have casted a more perfect personification of everything that is celebrated in this country than Armie Hammer? He has it all: strength, wealth, and rugged good looks. As one man playing two of the most self-entitled people on Earth he does his job admiringly, even if I dislike the characters he plays.
The editing is superb. I don’t want to spoil anything, but the way Fincher splices three ongoing stories at once simultaneously takes it to Memento-like levels of storytelling. This isn’t his best work, but it is certainly his most polished. Trent Reznor’s score infuses the film with a dance beat that continues long after Zuckerburg feels like leaving the floor. I’d like to think we live in a world where Reznor’s works and Daft Punk’s Tron Legacy score could compete come awards season, but I don’t think we’re at that point yet. And as with all of David Fincher’s recent films Jeff Cronenweth’s cineamtography is so distinctive you know it right away. Keep on the lookout for when Zuckerburg tosses a beer to one of Sean’s friends, it’s why I like filming in digital.
What needs to be asked at the end of The Social Network is this: are new technologies such as Facebook and Twitter bringing us together? Or merely putting up another wall?
- Currently 4.0/5 Stars.
The Social Network, A+
Check out this review and many others at my film blog, bostonianonfilm.blogspot.com
I’m going to try and stick to ideas and comments that haven’t been made 300 times (or if they have, I’m actually going to justify them which is often not the case). On the note of reality vs. fiction, I will say write now that I will not address the question about what is or isn’t real. Frankly, I don’t care; it gets at deeper human truths that are tremendously important in this day and age.
This film succeeds on every level for me; it’s extremely entertaining and intellectually invigorating. I really can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen it, at least 6. On my 2010 in film note, it won Best Picture and Best Actor (Eisenberg), and was nominated for Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Film Editing, Art Direction and Best Trailer. Aaron Sorkin, David Fincher and Jesse Eisenberg created one of the most fascinating characters in recent cinema history. Zuckerberg is an absolutely tremendous character. Every tiny detail down to his costume is unbelievably powerful. My personal favorite is his (as Eduardo refers to them) “fuck you flip flops.”
The genius of The Social Network is that as Peter Travers claims, it defines The Facebook Generation. It discusses this in a very subtle way, which is simply juxtaposing The Facebook Generation characters and the older characters. No point in the movie shows this more clearly than the sequence in which Fincher cuts between Zuckerberg programming FaceMash drinking with his friends and the sexy energetic Harvard Final Club party. It establishes two different worlds at that time; there’s the old world in which people spend time with one another (with a concentration in the scene on sexuality) and a new world in which we sit in front of a computer and “pretend” to be together. The reason this film defines our generation is that it exposes the manner in which social networking drives our isolation. We call it efficiency, thus leading to a better life. The Social Network, and myself, would argue that through social networking we’re losing our connection to one another. We are able to maintain more relationships, however those relationships are much more shallow, and in turn, significantly less valuable.
I think there’s something to be said about writing a letter. Back in the day, people would take 30-40 minutes to write and mail a letter. Nowadays we just post on their Facebook wall or Tweet @ them in a matter of a few minutes. We don’t quite realize how much is actually lost in that action. First and more clearly, think about the way it feels to read every word and see much meaning outside of what it actually says in the way it’s written and the size of letters and every little tiny detail that informs you on the feelings of the author. Second, think about how the lengthy process affects the friendship. Once you’ve dedicated so much time to someone, you care more about them. How much less warming is it when instead of being wished happy birthday by 20-30 people in person or on the phone (or via letter), you’re wished by 10 people in real time and 90 people on Facebook. Maybe I’m just the oddball, but I love old school personalized human contact.
Another important issue the film discusses is the way American society affects students. We’re so obsessed with unconditional winning, as perpetuated mainly through sports, that we can’t appreciate modest success. He first brings up the matter with FaceMash, a website devoted to comparing women. This quite ferociously begins the discussion, as we see many women’s emotions torn down by their ratings inflicted by competition. Now more importantly, consider the Winklevoss’ reaction to their rowing race in England. They are incredibly angry about coming in second by a hair, and having many people congratulate them on this fact. Why can’t they be happy that they’ve made it this far? They need to win, and that’s all that matters in their minds. The sad truth is that while this attitude may produce a stronger person, it also produces an unquenchable thirst. If they won that race, they’d be relieved not satisfied or happy. Once that race is won, the next harder race is all that matters. This competitive sensibility makes us incapable of being content. The saddest realization this film provides on this matter, is that even being the best doesn’t seem to feel that great. If the Winklevoss’ unquenchable thirst were miraculously filled, they’d be sitting atop of the world, like their counterpart Mark Zuckerberg. Need I go on? I think the film clearly shows the flaws in being at the top. Say this is fiction or non-fiction, it’s certainly a very possible scenario in which being at the top is quite lonely and not all too satisfying.
On this point, the film really exposes one of the most intriguing contradictions of American culture. We’re so obsessed with getting to the top (high value on being rich and famous), yet the people at the top quite constantly reveal that this isn’t such a great place to be (in addition to this film, see Kanye West’s 808’s and Heartbreak or the many celebrity meltdowns). What strangely connects us all is this struggle for success. The only thing we seem to have in common, which brings everyone out to the bars every weekend, is to strive for something that doesn’t sound to be all that great.
And of course finally I must discuss the genius ending; Sean disappoints Mark. It’s funny, most people, including myself the first time, found this a very depressing ending. In retrospect I found it profoundly positive and poignant. At the end, Mark learns that while everyone is disappointing, so is he. He realizes the humanity in everyone including himself. He finally decides to stop moving forward, and take a step back. He reaches out his olive branch to Erica, the first step in accepting everyone’s flaws and really learning to appreciate them. Who knows, maybe some day he’ll even write her a letter.
Some side notes that I’d like to just say were important to me as well (some are the overstated points of the film, others are things I had to cut out because I’m not going to write a 300 page review):
1. The use of music is extraordinary. The scratchy score feels lonely, isolated, and most importantly cryptic. Its fragmented electronic nature reflects the themes of this film with more depth than I can remember in another film.
2. Amazing dialogue. Enough said. (Although I must admit it could be a little obvious for my taste at times, which the Slash Filmcast points out is often through Rashida Jones’ character Marylin.
3. This movie is HILARIOUS. The Jewish boys / Asian girls bit is great, DON’T FISH EAT OTHER FISH? THE MARLINS AND THE TROUT!” Again, enough said.
4. This film also tremendously explores the frustration innovators have with the system. The whole film is a battle between Mark and the courts, and realistically it’s just a waste of his time. Why is it that he does in fact point out gaping holes in the Harvard security system and all he receives is academic probation? Why didn’t they hire him to help with security? A lot of people are defensive and not ready to move on. (Seriously, gay marriage is still an issue? We live in a time of backwards thinking.) Sorkin conveys this quite clearly in a bit of dialogue between one of the lawyers and Mark:
Lawyer: She was under oath.
Mark: Well then I guess that would be the first time somebody’s lied under oath”
The quote really does get to the heart of this situation. People are using these old broken systems and clinging to them quite strongly. It’s time to move on.
To continue with this point a bit I’m going to point out Mark quite sharply yells in the deposition, “you have part of my attention, you have the minimum amount. The rest of my attention is back at the offices of Facebook where my colleagues and I are doing things that no one in this room including and especially your clients are intellectually or creatively capable of doing. ” This moment ends and then Fincher cuts to Mark and Eduardo’s “sex scene” in the bathroom, thus suggesting this is how these teenagers deal with all the bullshit that’s being discussed. Of course, this is another sad contradiction because the empty sex is exactly what people are chasing via Facebook. Of course this moment is followed up by Mark spotting Erica, and his moment of escapism is ruined by reality. This feeds into a point David O. Russell makes on his film I Heart Huckabees, a great exploration of existentialism (and why it’s not all so cynical).
5. Another point at the heart of this film is that we are driven by this simple nagging question that pulls at our inadequacies, “why not me?” This question is at the heart of most decisions we make. I think it’s unfair to claim Sorkin and the filmmakers behind TSN attribute Facebook to this single event/situation, they’re just putting it at the focal point.
6. Absolutely BRILLIANT move by Sorkin is to mention quite correctly that the center of Facebook, its number one purpose, is the relationship status. This one point could be a whole new post (and may be one day).
7. I just want to point out that the way this world is set up, the Winklevoss’ are actually in a much better position than Mark. While they aren’t on top, they have each other. Consider after the race they have in England when they walk around annoyed by their loss. At this moment of failure, when they’ve lost a race and are losing the battle over Facebook, they experience the most beautiful genuine act of friendship in the film; Divya, their good friend, flew all the way out to England to watch their race, presumably without this action being expected of him.
Note to self: Don’t let these moments feel commonplace, they’re actually quite extraordinary. I will definitely take this sentiment deeply to heart on my birthday.
I’d like to end all this rambling on a sentiment from the film in this very scene in London. It’s not one of the 51 memorable quotes listed on IMDB, but it is quite possibly the most important one of the film:
Howard Winklevoss: “Don’t ever apologize to anyone for losing a race like that”
Don’t let your “small” accomplishments be overshadowed by what could’ve or could been, appreciate where you’ve come already. If you just sit and think about where you were years ago, you’d be astounded by who you’ve become.
- Currently 5.0/5 Stars.
It seems the heat over the debate of The Social Network’s worth as an Oscar-winning quintessential cinematic classic has reached somewhat of a fever pitch upon brief inspection of its’ reviews. With aforementioned reverence of the film seeming to have become a topic of scorn among many, and as I have only very recently viewed the film, I felt I’d like to express my own feelings on the technically artful yet ultimately average experience of The Social Network. While those who are criticizing the film’s quality, or rather, the deservedness of the accolades it has received have unsubstantial arguments to enforce their opinions, often firing the dreaded “O” word (overrated) about in the manner a frail, arthritic grandmother might wildly blaze her surroundings with an assault rifle – I subscribe to neither the pro nor con camps in this debate. And I myself can’t begin to imagine why anyone would even want to argue for either side.
The reason being, I feel that The Social Network is nothing other than a well-constructed, carefully orchestrated, but narratively mediocre film which delivers nothing more than a humbly enjoyable viewing experience. It doesn’t necessarily challenge anything in the viewer’s mind, it doesn’t conjure or inspire a large deal of emotional response and it puts itself so high up on a pedestal audiences can barely relate to its’ characters or form an opinion about the events that transpire around them. Unless of course the viewer happens to be of a very specific target demographic i.e. hyper-tech savvy, sophomoric egotists with too much money and minimal social skills. Of course, we’re fascinated to begin with – the story of Mark Zuckerberg is close to the hearts and minds of this entire internet-raised generation; we want to know how the most popular social networking website in the world was created and the people behind it because it’s such a big part of how we function and communicate throughout our daily lives. Alas, the story is just not engaging enough for us to care after a point and the plot becomes merely a series of uninspiring events leading up to the inevitable betrayal of Eduardo Saverin by Mark, his former friend and business associate in the development of Facebook as well as the subsequent lawsuits instigated by Saverin and the Winklevoss twins.
The loss of interest for me was largely in the constant bombardment of technical jargon in the dialogue, especially when delivered in the irritatingly rapid and dare I say amphibian-like tones of Jesse Eisenberg. At first, Eisenberg’s voice was a novelty; stereotypically geekified yet distinguished and intelligent due to the surprising momentum in which he verbally ejaculated vast quantities of thick vocabulary. After a while, however it became incredibly irritating and I found myself wondering if it was humanly possible for any normal human being to speak in such a way without rigorous rehearsal – which naturally broke the reality of the film to a degree. Eisenberg’s portrayal of Zuckerberg, and Zuckerberg’s duality, in particular, was fascinating but certainly nothing to impress on a grand level. The contrast between the impassioned, headstrong Mark defining the idea of Facebook and striving to achieve his vision to the weak, passive and spineless Mark who sacrificed his friendships for the betterment of his professional success and the financial success of his company is intriguing, but ultimately unimpressive.
I found it difficult to concentrate on the complexity of Eisenberg’s character whilst being thrown spontaneously between three different narrative strings – or moments in time within the one narrative (Saverin’s courtcase, The Winklevoss’ courtcase, and the main story tracking the progress of Mark’s creation of Facebook). That, and I automatically felt I shouldn’t sympathize with Zuckerberg – something I believe created a wall between audience and character, requiring a sufficient plot breakthrough which never really occurred. I wasn’t completely devoid of sympathy for Eisenberg’s character, as in the last moments of the film I felt a pang of pity towards him as he sends a friend request to his ex-girlfriend Erica Albright and futilely begins refreshing the page over and over again to see if she accepts. It was in that final scene I could finally see a spark of humanity in Eisenberg’s normally emotionless Zuckerberg, however it was too late by this time and the credits began to roll shortly thereafter. I felt the performances overall in the film were good, sometimes great – mostly in the case of Justin Timberlake, who surprised me with his paranoid, shrewd and power-dependent portrayal of Napster co-founder Sean Parker.
Despite an overly sensationalized plot, the technical aspects of The Social Network were astounding, and worthy of the acclaim they’ve received. Certain elements that make up the film, such as Jeff Cronenweth’s cinematography that precisely capture the fluctuating mood of the film’s melodramatic portraiture of Zuckerberg and co. is masterful. The soundtrack is fantastic, Atticus Ross and Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor deliver an appropriate, stirring score that is both subtle and meandering – adapting to moments within the film and from my perspective, creating more emotional tension than the actors themselves at times. The particularly poignant electronic rendition of In The Hall Of The Mountain King as the Winklevoss twins engage in a rowing race against a British university in an overseas competition is stirring and cleverly preempts the Winklevoss’s discovery that Facebook has penetrated foreign soil through British campuses. Another aspect of technical mastery which slipped my attention – and likely many others to begin with – was the digital post production of the Winklevoss twins themselves, played by Armie Hammer and Josh Pence, with Josh Pence filling the role of Hammer’s body double while Hammer portrayed both the twins and had his face digitally added to the body of Josh later. An incredibly well-directed performance by David Fincher and a highly subtle and wonderful use of modern special effects.
The Social Network stunned me in a variety of ways, and I suppose created a mostly positive impression. I can’t say the film changed my life or was one of the best films I’d witnessed in the past couple of years like many others have said, although I do admit this is largely due to personal taste more than anything else. The topic interested me to a degree, but the overly dramatized rendition of events surrounding the founding of a billion dollar internet phenomenon obviously did not appeal to my viewing tastes as much as I expected it to. Above all, The Social Network is a “good” film. A “great” film in places. But not a masterpiece. Not a pinnacle of contemporary cinema and certainly, in my opinion, not comparable to the standard of The Godfather or Citizen Kane as many have been attesting.
- Currently 3.0/5 Stars.
The Social Network is not a film about the Internet phenomenon Facebook. The mocking nickname “Facebook movie” has been attached to the production ever since the project was announced, but the film contains far more relevant and thematic material than the trailers or advertising let on. Granted, the website’s genesis is chronicled within two densely structured hours, but the film is more concerned about the themes and ideas surrounding the website’s controversial beginnings. Behind the seemingly mundane conflict of the people who fought legal battles over the control of a website is an endlessly intriguing examination of not only the ages old themes of jealousy, betrayal and revenge, but also of the ruthlessness of the successful entrepreneur in 21st century America.
No ordinary minds could have devised a film that jumps over a span of years in order to present its plot effectively. Mark Zuckerberg, the well-known creator of Facebook, is under assault by two lawsuits: the first, by Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, two twins from Harvard who claimed that the social networking site was their idea; the second, by Eduardo Saverin, Zuckerberg’s former best friend who helped him create the website, but ended up losing clout in governing its business structure as it expanded. To get bogged down in legal technicalities would be a bore, so screenwriter Aaron Sorkin takes the Rashomon route and plays with scenes that take place between both lawsuits as well as showing the start of Facebook at Harvard in 2003. Sorkin allows all the characters to provide their point of view, and what is most interesting is that there is not a genuine right or wrong stance that the film sides with. Every man wants something for himself; a clever parallel to how social networking has inadvertently promoted narcissism amongst those who engage with it.
One of the most impressive elements of The Social Network is the near-perfectly cast ensemble, providing a fresh snap, crackle, and pop to Sorkin’s words. To think that Jesse Eisenberg’s performance as Mark Zuckerberg is the same riff that he’s been playing for his whole career would be a mistake. Beneath his distant surface is something akin to a bubbling acid, ready to eat away at anything that gets too close. Though Eisenberg works within a very narrow range of vocal inflection, he delivers every single line with unmistakable subtext. It’s deadly subtlety at its very best, and makes him the standout of the film. All the other performances here are top notch as well, especially Andrew Garfield as Eduardo, providing the emotional core of the story as his best friend grows more distant. Justin Timberlake is also surprisingly convincing and sly as Sean Parker, the founder of Napster who uses his business expertise to influence Mark.
Despite all the important contributions made in the screenwriting and talent departments, what really distinguishes The Social Network is its implementation of pure cinema to tell its story. The film is immediately marked with director David Fincher’s signature style with immaculately calculated mis-en-scene and camera movement. Oftentimes, the frame of any given shot is encroached with darkness and sickly greens and yellows, especially on Harvard nights. Visually, it would make an excellent companion piece to another film by Fincher, Fight Club. The Social Network is also an example of editing on a high order. Fincher’s team sweeps the audience up in the excitement of Facebook’s origins, as well as the legal issues that arise over the course of the film. The plot moves relentlessly forward as many scenes taking place over years of time are edited in parallel, yet the pacing never feels rushed. The editing complements the writing to great effect, and Fincher shows that he knows the importance of the juxtaposition of images in order to convey emotion. Finally, the menacingly subtle score by Trent Renzor and Atticus Ross rounds out the film and supports Eisenberg’s fearless performance.
The Social Network has been hailed in some corners as a film for our generation, and although some may connect with that, I do not believe that is the intention. Instead, I believe that the film is piercing look into the eye of the storm that is American business in the 21st century. It follows the same tenants as other films with similar subject matter that preceded it, just as some aspects of American business will remain constant over decades, but the film presents itself in a contemporary environment. In some ways, Mark Zuckerberg intriguingly parallels Charles Foster Kane. This is not to compare The Social Network to Citizen Kane, for the two films are worlds apart in terms of tone, content and execution. However, the characters share a common path: Both men make serious sacrifices in order to succeed in America, and in the process, lose a part of themselves.
Quais aspectos são capazes de surpreender em um filme? Sua técnica, seu roteiro, sua direção, suas atuações? Talvez tudo isso sirva para criar uma atmosfera propícia a alucinação cinematográfica. Porém, muito mais importante, é necessário consonância de elementos. Sim, o melhor trabalho de David Fincher vem de uma fonte inesperada, no qual ele maturou aos poucos e criou sem recalques exuberantes. Uma relação de aspectos agradáveis aos sentidos e que dão impressão de fluidez.
Refém de atuações muito boas (Eisenberg/Garfield), roteiro bem trabalhado (em cima de autodescoberta, aceitação, personalidade e traições) e trilha sonora interessante, Fincher se abstêm de suas marcas narrativas para dar abertura aos outros. Um trabalho realmente notável de um diretor que evoluiu com o tempo e soube aproveitar todos os elementos que tinha em mãos, sendo um maestro regendo uma grande orquestra de talentos.
- Currently 3.0/5 Stars.
Is Mark Zuckerberg an asshole? Err, pardon me for asking that, but he appears as one in David Fincher’s mesmerising new movie, The Social Network (2010). Playing as the founder of Facebook, Jesse Eisenberg turns the other side of the coin of what might look like a calm and cool Zuckerberg into a chatty computer geek, who proclaimes that he doesn’t need friends. Fincher’s job is to put him inside a realm of conflict on nasty politics, business and dark humour. It’s not just a movie about Facebook, it’s about the invention and the evil that lurks behind it.
Apparently, The Social Network takes the actual names of the people involved in the creation of Facebook, though no real contacts or agreements made with them. Aaron Sorkin was the man who masterfully transforms Ben Mezrich’s book called The Accidental Billionaire, into an astonishingly smart screenplay. In two hours, we would watch how the most influential person of the Information Age intermingles with his computers, friends, and enemies. With a tinge of thriller, of course.
The Dramatic Invention
It was one bad night for Mark, who just broke up with his girlfriend over some petty debate. Being called an asshole, he went to his dorm in anguish, took a couple of beers, and turned on his computer. He blogged about how slutty his ex-girlfriend was, put heavy traffic to Harvard Internet network, walked out of classroom as he wished. He didn’t care of anything, but his ’11-inch Vaio laptop, hoodie jacket and a pair of Adidas slippers. He’s a kind of guy whom you’d like to give a lovely punch in the face and he’d ask for more.
There he showed off his hacking skills and continued a half-way project on comparing the pictures of Harvard undergrad girls side by side, to be chosen which was ‘hotter’ over the other. This site became instantly popular among (male) students who got invitations to try. Unstoppable page badwidth requests eventually crashed the network and the next day Mark was dragged into university hearing. He was charged with a 6-month probation out of his study, though, we would later learn that he had been intending to drop out of Harvard, instead, and concentrated on building Facebook.
Fortunately, this “free” time gave him full opportunity to develop the girls-pairing adolescent site, which was initially named “Facemash”, into something more engaging: “Thefacebook”. The holy plan is to put all students’ social life into an Internet platform. However, the twin Winklevoss brothers (both played by Armie Hammer) accused him of stealing the idea of creating the social network from the Harvard Connection project, which they had, in fact, been doing as a team. Mark ignored them and along with his roomates, particularly the Brasilian Eduardo Saverin (played so dramatically by Andrew Garfield), promoted “Thefacebook” outside Harvard, for the most part to other top US universities, such as Stanford, Yale and Columbia. There was a nostalgic moment when Mark wondered how this site could compete with Friendster or MySpace that were already established companies. We’d feel so familiar when they discovered the Wall, Profile Picture, Video tagging, Relationship Status, and other features.
The tension grows stronger when Mark, in the long run, clashed with Eduardo upon deciding to find the sponsors for “Thefacebook”. Later we learn that capitalism plays its essential part that changes the nature of the site forever; from a merely Harvard exclusive site, into a global company which is now worth at least $25 billion. It was the Napster founder, Sean Parker (Justin Timberlake), who came apart the two best friends. Eduardo was threatened by Sean’s manic approach towards Mark, who was deliberately impressed with the same vision he shared with Sean. The Napster boss even suggested that they should remove the “the”, so it remained “Facebook”. “It’s cleaner..”, he said. Whilst Eduardo, still thinking that he was the true CFO, went to New York to find some investors. But it was when the disaster rolled up. Back from NY, Eduardo discovered that his shares in Facebook had been intentionally cut into 0.03% by some appaling conspiracy. He felt betrayed, and in rage, smashed Mark’s laptop on a big quarrel. Tired of the situation, he left the new Facebook cube office in Palo Alto in a dreadfully sad moment, that I was sure the audience would flood him with sympathy.
There’s actually nothing so new about the theme of The Social Network, so to speak. It’s essentially filled with jealousy, friendship, loyalty, social status, even betrayal. Many beautiful minds have, in previous generations invented telephone, television, digital camera, or desktop computer. Today, it is the social network. “People have been living in villages, cities, now we live in Internet!”, yelled Sean Parker to convince Mark. Conspiracy, power, sarcasm build the tense. In the production note, Sorkin does admit that the themes “are as old as storytelling itself. It’s a story that if Aeschylus were alive today, he’d have written; Shakespeare would have written; Paddy Chayefsky would have written.”
We can debate whether this movie lack of accuracy (Sorkin does his own research, too, though) mostly on Mark’s portrayal, misogynistic attitude towards women, or the life of Harvard students which might appear so un-Harvard in most of people’s perceptions. But The Social Network deserves a critical acclaim since it gives a contextual picture of what most people of this digital age have taken for granted: the connectedness brought by the new media technologies. We hardly value what we consume everyday; something that we call social network, e-mail, blog, online forum, that bring us together. For free. As for Facebook, it has now reached 500 million users who literally put all of their lives in there. But this great film reveals the sordid journey that goes with the process of invention, success, and companionship. And with so little knowledge on what has happened behind the production of Facebook, it might in a way change your attitude towards that social network.
Each of the characters has their little stories in the end of the day, providing quite captivating moments and provoking discussions over possible conclusions. The film was shot in a shifting scenes between flashbacks and the final hearing, involving Eduardo and the Winklevoss Brothers who actually put lawsuit against Mark. But the defining moment should go for the very last scene, when Mark realised, in desperation, how badly he needed friends. In this point, he’s not an asshole.
- Currently 4.0/5 Stars.
Cada fenómeno social nace de un profundo resentimiento, ira o fuertes sentimientos destructivos (hacia uno mismo o vertidos hacia el exterior). Estos fenómenos suelen ser casi circunstanciales, eventos fortuitos cuyo potencial fue identificado en determinado momento por una persona capaz de notar la diferencia y verter en el mismo, parte de su propia disfunción social o patológica, es de aquí que consecuente nace la obsesión por nutrir, acrecentar y exagerar la apropiación del evento. La explotación llega al punto del paroxismo, el paroxismo nacido del suceso lleva a un aislamiento casi total y a un continuo, progresivo y latente proceso de autodestrucción. Esta es la moraleja que parecen manejar dos fábulas posmodernas de nuestros tiempos, distanciadas por 34 años de creación, sin embargo hermanadas por su “voraz” planteamiento, su “mordaz crítica” a la “sociedad”, su tratamiento de la “axiología oculta” de los tiempos posmodernos, su presunto fatalismo y la representación “maniqueo-realista” del medio de comunicación. Las cintas? “Network” de 1976 y “The Social Network” de 2010. Aunado al hecho de que el título de la cinta de Fincher pareciera añadir una dimensión más incluyente al fenómeno retratado, lo cierto es que ambas cintas manejan una fuerte resonancia (ambas, a pesar de la distancia en su realización, son sobre “temas de actualidad”-como las revistas de chismes-) y tienen una aplicación sobre lo que mueve a las masas, un mensaje ambiguo y dual sobre el éxito, sobre la comunicación, “Network” es el resultado del fenómeno mientras que “The Social Network” es sobre el proceso que lleva al fenómeno (con una dialéctica no lineal, que nos lleva del efecto a la causa de manera constante). Ambas cintas tienen un fuerte sentido “contemporáneo” a sus dilemas, personajes y tratamientos y se apoyan en los recursos brindados por cada uno de sus respectivos guonistas (el ingenio chovinista judío de Chayesky y la habilidad para crear arquetipos modernos complejos de Aaron Sorkin), del mismo modo en que se apropian de los vericuetos del lenguaje para crear diálogos de una fina y letalidad que intentan emular el veloz ingenio de aquellos escritos por Billy Wilder (no le llegan, pero hacen su luchita los cabrones).
…al servicio del cuento.
En cuanto a la mise en scene (o “la montada” como dicen por acá), difícilmente podríamos encontrar estilos más disimiles para dirigir. Sydney Lumet se ha caracterizado por manejar temáticas de un fuerte contenido político y por adherirse a los canones del movimiento del “New Hollywood” surgido de los años 70´s en cuanto al desarrollo de sus personajes, sus encuadres y la minimalista fotografía. Basta con recordar “Dog Day´s Afternoon” de 1975 con Al Pacino. Por otro lado, David Fincher, resulta, de cualquier manera, un director más versátil que Lumet (que no mejor ni peor), teniendo en su filmografía la creación de obras de diferente tono, que tienen coherencia con el corpus de Fincher por una cargada estilización (herencia inequívoca de sus días como director de videoclips de Madonna), personajes de una fuerte personalidad y aparente “complejidad psicológica”, pero la mayoría tendientes a una atractiva unidimensionalidad. De Fincher basta con mencionar obras como “Se7en” (1995) o “The Fight Club” (1999) sobre otro gran sociópata, Tyler Durden o su obra “para las señoras”, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (2008). En “Network”, Lumet se va a lo tradicional, en cuanto al desarrollo de la historia, el desenvolvimiento de la trama, la cinta fluye por lo aparentemente atractivo del mensaje, Lumet no es un director que elija el riesgo y toda la obra mantiene una coherencia, que como ya mencione se adhiere al “canon rupturista” del “New Hollywood”, haciendo elecciones interesantes en encuadre (por ejemplo, la escena entre Peter Finch y Ned Beatty (el tirano Lotso de Toy Story 3, en su versión gringa), tomando una perspectiva diagonal que acentúa el poder de Beatty como el magnate mediático que representa). Fuera de esto, Lumet se adhiere a lo efectivo en su tratamiento, logra llevar diligentemente el material de Chayefsky y saca estupendas actuaciones de su elenco. Por otro lado, en “The Social Network” no puede dejar de sentirse cierta ansiedad por parte de Fincher para hacer de varias escenas lo más estilizadas posibles, Fincher, a diferencia de Lumet, no puede evitar el ser opacado por el material que está llevando, busca imprimir el “sello Fincher” en la mas oportunidad más factible. Tome por ejemplo la escena de la competencia de remo de los gemelos Winklevoss, a pesar de la precisión en los encuadres, la perfección en la edición y la estupenda adición del score de Trent Reznor, la escena tiene una mínima coherencia narrativa (no va más allá de acentuar la inevitable derrota de los Winklevoss), es como la cobijita que acaricia Fincher para reasegurarse a sí mismo de manera tántrica “soy un genio visual soy un genio visual…”, un momento de autocomplacencia devastadoramente evidente, pero que como comercial de Nike para vender remos y canoas, resulta efectivo. Pero siendo justos, Fincher cumple llevando el material (la película, a pesar de tener más diálogos que una de Rohmer, fluye rápidamente), la dirección de Fincher es eficaz y se apoya en su dinamismo y velocidad como artífice. Lumet es mas tradicional, “old school” si se le quiere llamar así, pero ambos simplemente prestan prestigio y dan combustible a las verdaderos móviles: el material crudo, el guión.
MITOLOGÍAS DEL ÉXITO Y LA TRAICIÓN
Mark y Diana….
…no solo comparten su nulo atractivo sexual.
Ambos protagonistas de fábulas contemporáneas, alcanzan el pináculo (sin albur) del éxito para descender en el infierno de convivir únicamente consigo mismos. Diana Christensen (Faye Dunaway) y Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg) son personajes muy similares, ambos presentan una disfunción social fuerte que raya en la misantropía, incapaces de desarrollar vínculos afectivos fuertes, incompetentes en el entorno, su genio nace de su propio ensimismamiento y constante diálogo interno, tienen fuertes sentimientos ambivalentes hacia sí mismos, saborear el éxito les hace pensar que “se aman” más de lo que “se odian” a sí mismos, pero al final terminan con un fuerte resentimiento hacia ellos mismos, su misantropía se invierte y finalmente distinguen y se dan cuenta de que su misantropía es el miedo a ellos mismos. Ambos personajes tienen diferencias importantes que reflejan el zeitgeist de cada generación y el cambio generacional, Diana es una mujer ambiciosa fuertemente politizada (que politizado en los 70´s era- y sigue siendo- sinónimo de radicalismo rojillo) mientras que Mark es una figura completamente apolítica, totalmente indiferente a la “sociedad” y a la “política” y sumergido en su propia cosmovisión cibernética (perfil totalmente adecuado para el creador de Facebook). Aunado a la diferencia de género. Empujados por el hambre de éxito, utilizan su ingenio y a pesar de ser personas con fuertes disfunciones sociales, saben lo que la gente quiere, conocen la debilidad del género y se obsesionan por su “creación”, aunque rara vez (Mark) o nunca (Diana) se les vea interactuando la misma. Como en cualquier drama clásico o cuentito político, traicionan a las personas por las que fueron apoyados, laceran con la boca y matan con la praxis. Diana y Mark están conscientes de que el éxito es ama de un solo esclavo y no están dispuestos a compartir el yugo, por muy miserables que los haga. Sus dilemas morales son similares (si no es que idénticos), a ambos se les presenta una figura del estilo de “Mefistófeles” que los lleva a una absorción total en la espiral autodestructiva de su éxito, sea Sean Parker, fundador de la difunta Napster (Justin Timberlake- sí, el de NSYNC) y Frank Hakett (Robert Duvall) presidente de la cadena UBS, figuras que hacen posible la expansión del genio patológico de Diana y Mark, a través del uso de la herramienta preferida del diablo, el poder (me sentí como evangelista de la tele cabron).
Eduardo, una versión moderna de Abel.
Max, la mediocridad ante el poderío femenino.
El paralelismo no termina entre Diana y Mark sino que se extiende hacia las figuras secundarias de ambas tramas, para que existen los vínculos afectivos (y su posterior destrucción) en estas fábulas sino para demonizar a los protagonistas de estas fábulas? Para Diana y Mark están Max Schumacher (William Holden) y Eduardo Saverin (Andrew Garfield-el nuevo “culoapretado” o “Spider Man”), su presencia es obvia en el desarrollo de la historia, fungen como una suerte de consciencia moral para los protagonistas, pero no son consciencias morales per se, sino que se encuentran humanizados por ser consciencias morales imperfectas. Ambos son personajes con un tesón aparentemente débil que busca exaltar la fuerza de sus contrapartes (Diana y Mark), ambos se encuentran de cierto modo, superados por el genio de sus contrapartes que los hace parecer mediocres, su éxito es mediano, su éxito es el de el ciudadano común, siendo comunes, su relación con sus contrapartes en ambivalente, se aman y odian al mismo tiempo, hay rencor de Diana a Max y de Mark a Eduardo, viven realidades mutuamente excluyentes, se “complementan parcialmente” , ingenuamente creen en la redención de sus contrapartes y sus relaciones de pareja se ven afectadas por su relación con Diana y Mark.
Una catarsis explosiva….
…por una implosiva.
El paralelismo llega hasta en sus parejas, Louise (Beatrice Straight-que con solo 5 minutos de aparición, se llevó el Oscar (trágate esa, Judi Dench)) y Christy (Brenda Song) que tienen su catarsis con sus parejas (Max y Eduardo), en una escena , Louise descubre la infidelidad de Max, su momento es implosivo, Christy sospecha de infidelidad, pero está consciente del poder de Mark sobre Eduardo, su momento es explosivo, denotando de ambas, la inestabilidad emocional, el daño colateral provocado por Diana y Mark. Este entramado (o red) de relaciones sistémicas delicadas giran y, narrativamente hablando, son activadas por la detonación del fenómeno social: Howard Beale y Facebook.
Howard Beale y Facebook son reflejos de su propio mercado, complejos artículos de consumo mediático masivo que nacen de la proyección de un deseo generalizado, sea la inconformidad con el sistema de comunicación o el nuevo uso de los mismos como medios de propaganda individualista. Howard Beale es el hartazgo mediático, Facebook es la respuesta del sistema a ese hartazgo (fuertemente nutrecido y explotado por el hegemónico sistema empresarial y mercadológico), ambos fenómenos comparten su alta “popularidad”, aspecto que las hace tomar un aspecto cuasi universal a su esencia, como la fábula. En la alegoría de la EUA de los 70´s, el mundo (que casi siempre se reduce a Nueva York u a otra imagen de fuerte cosmopolitismo) conoce a Howard Beale, hoy en día, la cosa esta de Facebook es utilizada por millones de usuarios en el mundo. La fábula de Beale termina en su propia muerte, ocasionada por lo que lo llevo a la cima en primer lugar, la indiscreción, el goteo, la fuga de información (como un setentero Assange, aunque ese paralelismo podría carecer de fundamento), sin embargo la fábula termina con la destrucción de ese peligroso producto de consumo, por otro lado, la otra fábula sigue inconclusa, el creador del producto sigue en el pináculo del “éxito”, la fábula no termina, la mitología es destruida por una continua realidad, pero no es cuento, no es una alegoría, es una estilizada y pulida imagen de nuestro futuro, un pendejo solo, destruido por la envidia, frente a una computadora, clicking refresh…Quizá la fábula tendrá un final después de todo.
PUUUUUTA MADRE!!!! SE CAYO EL TUMBLER OTRA VEZ!!!!!
- Currently 3.0/5 Stars.
Incredibly intelligent and perfectly paced. Not quite as timeless or “socially relevant” as some may think, (in 20 years we’ll be laughing at the general quaintness of the whole thing) but it remains intriguing throughout. A great tale of friendship, university life, trying to get chicks, software programming, and intellectual property lawsuits.
And Trent Reznor is still one of the best musicians out there today.
- Currently 4.0/5 Stars.
Para começar bem o novo ano que agora começou, tive o prazer de ver a última obra fílmica de David Fincher intitulada The Social Network. Um filme marcante que me apaixonei por duas razões muito distintas: em primeiro lugar por ser a representação audiovisual do fenómeno mundial da “partilha” que é o Facebook e com isso tornar-se uma marca dos factos que levaram à sua criação, em segundo porque é mais uma prova da mestria de David Fincher na arte de realizar filmes.
Mark Zukerberg ganhou especial destaque no ano de 2004, quando uma luz lhe possibilitou ter a ideia de criar o Facebook. Uma rede social que em poucos anos, tornou-se o maior fenómeno de comunicação dos últimos anos e levou mesmo a que o seu fundador fosse considerado pessoa do ano pela prestigiada revista TIME.
Mas, esta informação já é do senso-comum, pelo menos para aqueles que seguem de perto a evolução da sua empresa e usam o seu serviço. O que me interessa aqui falar é sobre o filme.
Antes de mais é importante perceber quem é e foi David Fincher. Nada mais do que o realizador responsável por alguns filmes que mais me marcaram nos últimos anos. Estou a falar de filmes como: Fight Club (1999); Seven (1995); ou Alien 3 (1992).
Pertinente é perceber, depois de ver vários filmes do mesmo autor/realizador, as suas marcas, as suas características particulares. Porém, enquanto notei em Fincher uma preocupação muito cuidada pelo lado da fotografia, nos movimentos da câmara, nos diálogos elaborados, na continuidade e um mis en scéne equilibrado, também atentei à sua multiplicidade natural de adaptação entre vários géneros. Isto é, em todos os filmes que referi anteriormente encontramos sempre um tipo de drama, um tipo de comédia e um tipo documental.
É nesta última parte que o filme ganhou especial interesse para mim. Longe do documento histórico que é a fundação da empresa Facebook, existiu uma história de relações e interacções entre conhecidos e amigos. Uma história que apenas foi vivencial pelos seus protagonistas reais e, apenas aqueles, ficariam com uma prova visual do que realmente aconteceu. Com este filme, todos, mas mesmo todos, podem ter uma aproximação acerca da veracidade daquilo que foi realmente os factos que levaram ao desenlace que todos sabemos. Claro que não podemos esquecer que o filme é uma mistura de factos verídicos fundidos com a imaginação do seu realizador e que mesmo Mark Zuckerberg nunca oficializou o mesmo como a história factual e verdadeira.
Todavia, para mim isso não é importante. O que importa guardar deste filme é aquilo que ele representa: uma aproximação ao que aconteceu na realidade, constituído por uma narrativa clara e múltipla nas emoções que adquirimos sequencialmente e, principalmente, porque é um filme que demonstra a qualidade de David Fincher enquanto realizador.
- Currently 4.0/5 Stars.
Title: The Social Network
Language: English, French
Director: David Fincher
Writers: Aaron Sorkin, Ben Mezrich
Definitely one of the best films of 2010 and currently is my No.3 of the year (slightly behind INCEPTION and THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT, but No.1 on my 2010 Top 10 director list). David Fincher’s last film THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON (2008) is a major disappointment for me (though he has remained one of my favorite directors since 1999’s FIGHT CLUB). I feel exulted to see he will finally get his overdue Oscar for BEST DIRECTOR next year!
For me, at first I was rather pessimistic towards this project, the biographic story of Mark Zuckerberg is surely not Fincher’s cup of tea (considering SE7VEN, FIGHT CLUB and ZODIAC), without a dark premise, it could turn out to be another case like TCCOBB, bland and tasteless. Unexpectedly the opening scene between soon-to-be-dumped Mark and his still-present-girlfriend Erica is mesmerizing and the conversation is sagacious and witty (I did watch the scene twice), which immediately drew me into a status of devotion, especially under of foil of Trent Reznor (Nine Inch Nails)’s arresting music score.
The acting is outstanding by a rather young cast, Jesse interprets a complicated role with his cool-headedness and subtlety, at the time being, he is my No. 1 in the leading actor race. However Andrew Garfield’s performance is much more heartfelt for me (as I have seen BOY A, I am not surprised to witness how much potential he has under his charming appearance, plus he is the new Spider Man, I think he could beat Toby Maguire by a mile, as far as Oscar speaking). The unexpected novae are Rooney Mara and Armie Hammer, the former will soon appear in the US version of THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO (directed by Fincher as well) next year as the protagonist, she will be rocket-boosting like Noomi Rapace this year; the latter manifests himself to be a perfect candidate as the new superman. Shadowed by the others, Justin Timberlake is just okay, as least not too annoying (and sadly to find out he is aging too).
Almost everything in the film is flawless, the cinematography, the editing, the tempo, the cast, I am really appreciated this film to create a meaningful bitter-taste of becoming rich and famous at a young age, its practical significance could benefit many audience. Anyway I feel placid to see this film sweep in the coming Oscar, bravo Fincher!
- Currently 5.0/5 Stars.
Los fenómenos sociales incrementan la velocidad con la que son inmortalizados en celuloide. Por ejemplo a los alemanes Un mundo desconectado les tomó casi 60 años hacer una película sobre los últimos días de Adolph Hitler, al mundo le ha tomado tan sólo 6 primaveras realizar la película sobre Facebook.
The Social Network (2010) es un filme que muchos han querido comparar al Ciudadano Kane (Orson Welles, 1941); a diferencia de la opera prima de Welles, Red Social no es una cinta innovadora a nivel técnico o estilístico para la cinematografía mundial, la comparación cabe para señalar las diferencias entre los multimillonarios de los años 30 y 40 y los nuevos del siglo XXI.
Jesse Eisenberg logra la mejor actuación de su carrera interpretando al fundador y creador de Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, capturando la intención que el guión de Aaron Sorkin –basado en el libro “The Accidental Billionaires” de Ben Mezrich– busca en el personaje. Un ser resentido con la sociedad que lo rodea e incapaz de poder relacionarse con las demás personas.
Ejemplo de esto en el largometraje es que mientras la popularidad de Mark va a la baja, la de su compañero Eduardo Saverin –interpretado por Andrew Garfield, el nuevo Spiderman– parece incrementarse día con día, lo cual provoca en Mark resentimiento, sentimiento que acompañara al personaje a lo largo de los 120 minutos de película.
Pero será ese resentimiento la principal motivación de Mark en todas sus acciones, desde la creación del sitio hasta el distanciamiento con su mejor amigo, eso es lo que hace que el guión de Sorkin avance, presentando flashbacks entre las demandas que se dieron por el nacimiento de TheFacebook.
David Fincher demuestra su pericia como director al cuajar a un joven grupo de actores, incluyendo a Justin Timberlake –por cierto el único que conoció a la persona que iba a interpretar-, pero a pesar de esta juventud el trabajo actoral es uno de los puntos destacados de la película.
El score de Trent Reznor –líder de NIN- y Atticus Ross ayuda a que el filme fluya, acentuando los puntos climáticos, pero sin interferir con estos.
Si existe alguna falla –sí es que existe- con Red Social es que no aporta nada nuevo, el largometraje es la confirmación de las habilidades de Fincher y Sorkin en sus respectivos campos, pero no hay nada de novedoso en eso. Ignoro si fue predeterminado o no, pero en ningún momento se involucra a las nuevas dinámicas sociales que Facebook creó, a excepción de la escena en que el personaje de Andrew Garfield pelea con su novia psicópata, Facebook y sus dinámicas no aparecen en ningún momento.
No es que hagan falta durante la película, sino que sin este análisis es imposible comprender al 100% el fenómeno social que se desató a partir del nacimiento de la red social. Sólo para dar un poco de contexto, actualmente Facebook cuenta con 500 millones de usuarios, el equivalente al 8% de la población mundial.
La falta de análisis en la figura de Mark Zuckerberg termina afectando el resultado final del largometraje. No deja de ser irónico que el creador de las nuevas formas de relacionarse para toda una generación, sea en realidad un retraído social.
Además de que para hacer la cinta atractiva se tuvieron que añadir muchos detalles a la trama, así que lo que vemos en pantalla no es lo que en realidad sucedió en la creación del sitio de internet.
Seguramente The Social Network obtendrá varias nominaciones en los próximos premios Óscar y tendrá que competir en contra de Inception de Christopher Nolan. La Academia tendrá que decidir: sueños vs abogados.
- Currently 4.0/5 Stars.
It is always difficult to write something about things you are interconnected with. As someone who is experienced in entrepreneurial activities it was quite amazing how stories can effect each other, though mine is actually real while David Fincher’s “Social Network” is a masterpiece concerning the detailed obsessions of the underlying difficulties start- ups nowadays have to face. I could identify a lot of different aspects of a real start- up company in this movie. That and the fact that this is a movie about Mark Zuckerberg, the embodiment of innovative connectivity between psychology, social structures and information technology made this movie into one of my all- time favourites. My initial intend to watch this movie was, that i wanted to get a closer glimpse in the underlying mechanismen of facebook. But it turned out to be an insight into the start- up business as a whole. For every company, the major issue is to gain profit within the operative market area. This and the fact, that the acteurs are replaceable, makes it almost necessary that the differences between humans are stressed to competitive means. This makes it unavoidable to protect your own interests as early as possible. The best, but not the easiest way to reach this, are contracts. With this insight Mark Zuckerberg could have avoid much difficulties for himself and his associates, but wouldn’t have made this movie worth watching. Facebook made not only Zuckerberg, who obviously stole the idea from the Winklevoss twins, but also the whole clique very rich and with Fincher’s movie even (in)famous. In the end also his ex- girlfriend got the opportunity to gain new virtual friends and be part of a bigger community, though friendship was her actual argument against a further relationship with Zuckerberg in the opening scene. This business thriller has therefor in my opinion a positive message, but it drew a new line between what is allowed and what are setbacks. The major setback in this movie is the fact, that relationships had to be reglementated through lawyers. That money has to be reglementated is nothing new. New is now, that you need help to get clear agreements on a subject, which is necessary for every company- to gain profit and to make this the aim for everyone. Everyone who isn’t able to bring added value to a company, shouldn’t be taken into account.But if you rely on sheer man power and the competence behind, it will be always the question, who is hot and who is not. To know which incentives nowadays have the power to please you and have peaceful effects on you are crucial to move on.
The movie starts with a date between Erica Albright (Rooney Mara) and Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg). They both discuss the easiest way to get rich. It becomes very fast clear, that Mark is too obsessed with this idea, that there is not much space for someone else. After he made clear that friendship is something, you have to gain through ideas, and that there is a difference between people, Erica breaks- up with him. Disappointed from this experience, he is programming a website, called “Facemash”. On this site, you have the opportunity to rate faces. The algorithmen for this site, is developed by his best friend Eduardo Saverin (Andrew Garfield). To get pictures for his site, he hacks himself into the database of the Harvard University. As the traffic of his sites reaches 22000 clicks within a few hours, the servers reach their limit of performance. The site is shut down. Moreover, Zuckerberg is officially accused of hacking into the system, violating private spheres and copyrights. But with this site, he made first experiences, that people like to see things of people they know. It is like a pyramid scheme. Everybody wants to have key roles, so everybody is taking part.
The story of Mark Zuckerbergs idea is puplicated within the campus paper. Through this, the Winklevoss twins (Arnie Hammer), who are deeply connected with the elitistic nature of Harvard, get attentiv. They move up to Mark Zuckerberg with the idea to make a source code like MySpace just for exclusive Harvard students. Mark takes their idea and programmes his own site. The incentive to take part is in his opinion the social structure, the motivation is greed. He secures his rights through registering this website. The name of the newly developed website is “thefacebook.com”. Eduardo Saverin is the first financier and becomes chief financial officer.
As the website gets online, the clique around the Winklevoss twins is reacting with disturbance. They don’t want to sue Zuckerberg in the beginning, because it would be against Harvard ethics. But the more popular the site becomes- facebook me is getting common sense- the louder the voices for legal actions get. The climax is reached, as other campuses get involved. Now even they start a legal process against Zuckerberg.
But while Eduardo Severin wants more- he wants to make a real business out of facebook with the opportunity for companys to place advertisings- Mark is still reserved and doesn’t want to risk the hype.
This attitude is changing, when Shawn Parker, who revolutionised the music business with the internet peer- to- peer platform “Napstar”. With Shawn Parker the tempo of the start- up accelerates and the hierarchical structures change. He gets part of the team, because of his connections. On his intend, “thefacebook.com” will be changed into “facebook” and the whole teams move to California.
Mark and his team make now the aquintance with venture capitalists and business afficionados. To get the money they have to restructure the business. The first disadvanteged person is Eduardo Saverin. In opposition, he freezes the account. Mark can’t bear this, conversly they reduce his share of the company. Shawn, who by the time got to the leading person, get caught with drugs and has to quit the company.
In the end a young lawyer makes a proposal, because the whole film is told in flashbacks, that she will reach a settlement with Saverin, because Zuckerberg isn’t capable of befriending other people.
The story about “Facebook” is a story about, how communities change the use of techniques and will be changed by innovative techniques. And as always, there has to be someone who has the right idea. In this case it was Mark Zuckerberg. But as he mentioned in the film, he doesn’t know for what purpose. The internet was an invention nobody could and still can’t oversee for what purpose it should be used properly. But within that greater story, there lies beneath the struggle of every start- up company. Everyone has great ideas during his lifetime, but how to implement them. You definitively have to come to terms with the business habits nowadays. A great idea isn’t automatically a great innovation. But in this case, it was. The film itself is a masterpiece, rich of the average struggles of start- ups. If it is representative for the real events, is a question i can’t answer. But i can truly recommend this movie.
Circonspect, j’hésite entre me pâmer devant l’intelligence phénoménal du scénario écrit par Aaron Sorkin et me fermer pour toujours à ces scripts à tiroir qui étirent la narration au point que les personnages ne sont plus des êtres mais des portes, laissant celles-ci toutes ouvertes au mépris des courants d’air. Mais la première impression est cette fois la bonne, car à bien y regarder il y a une réflexion approfondie dans la manière choisie de conter cette histoire de self-made man édifiante et contemporaine
La véritable réussite de cette narration tient en fait à l’empathie que l’on ressent pour ces hommes qui ont gravité autour de Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg) qui, lui, est à part. Il y a son meilleur ami et financier des débuts, Eduardo (Andrew Garfield, tout en ombres et lumières), il y a ses colocataires de Harvard, les jumeaux Winklevoss, Sean Parker (Justin Timberlake, entre la performance et la roue libre) et tous ces étudiants avides d’informations et d’exutoires. Et M. Zuckerberg se chargera de leur offrir sur un plateau, opportuniste et génie, la plate-forme tant fantasmée : le marginal étant finalement celui qui les a le mieux compris, depuis sa solitude.
Bien qu’exécuteur de l’idée, Zuckerberg a en réalité phagocyté toutes celles de ceux qu’il a rencontré. Fin observateur de son temps, il n’a hissé son outil qu’en s’emmurant en son sein, au prix des relations humaines, en sacrifiant à la réussite tous ceux qui l’entourait. Bâti autour des deux principaux procès auquel il a dû faire face, le film narre chronologiquement le chemin d’un homme si concentré qu’il a enfanté d’une baleine : celle où navigue 500 millions d’utilisateurs, celle du voyeurisme et de l’échange, celle du meilleur et du pire – surtout du pire. Il a clôt sa vie pour afficher celle du monde , dans un tel rejet et dans un tel dégoût qu’il a livré l’instrument ultime, le repère d’une génération qui n’en avait plus.
Selon la thèse proposée par David Fincher et Aaron Sorkin, la lucidité peut atteindre le point de non retour, celui où Zuckerberg se livre corps et âme au monstre qu’il a créé, reconnaissant finalement son incapacité à vivre sans (voire la fin, remarquable). C’est en fait la chronique d’une génération qui place l’individu au centre de toute chose, et de tout phénomène, pour que l’un se différencie de l’autre. L’originalité humaine nécessite désormais une preuve, un résumé, des informations immédiatement accessibles, une vérification à tête reposée et un regard en biais sur celui qui nous intéressera peut-être à l’avenir.
Dans la vengeance c’est le discernement dont s’est défait Zuckerberg et c’est la réussite première du film du cinéaste américain. En castant Jesse Eisenberg il a transmis au plus haut point, par la mimique et la retenue, l’introspection forcée d’un être dépassé par son présent, qui met au point le moyen de le figer… et de faire exister de manière permanente un être virtuellement « par l’encre et non par le crayon » (pour reprendre un dialogue du film).
Dans sa mise en scène même, D. Fincher s’accorde à celui qu’il filme, cadrant ses gros plans comme des photos de profil, virtualisant le monde dans des salles de procès, enfermant les protagonistes dans des dialogues où chacun défend sa vision du monde, à celui qui aura la répartie la plus sarcastique, ou la plus appropriée. La bande originale composée par Trent Reznor vient cristalliser toutes les tensions implicites dans une musique électronique portant son propre commentaire (voire la scène de la course d’avirons) ; les émotions ne s’expriment plus, elles se crachent ou s’étouffent.
Plus jeune milliardaire au monde, Mark Zuckerberg est sans doute, si l’on en croit le long métrage, le plus seul. Répétant incessamment qu’il n’a que faire de l’argent, il se consacre tout entier à sa baleine, quitte à en être le poumon.
- Currently 4.0/5 Stars.
No wonder Mark Zuckerberg wasn’t happy with this project, he, or really anyone else involved, don’t exactly come out looking like anything but pretentious, obsessive, elitist jerks (including Harvard and it’s long history of pretentious, elitist snobbery), but what matters is that David Fincher, ever the master of making brilliant character studies out of the most uncharismatic of subjects, whips this thing into a prime entertainment, and a cautionary tale of mixing business with friendship.
In his usual word-a-second dialogue style, screenwriter Aaron Sorkin spins the wordy tale of the genesis of Facebook (and subsequent legal battle over rights and it’s tremendous wealth) in a fascinating montage of deposition statements, computer geek tech speak, and college dorm chatter, mixing in the defining technological moments of the past decade as a way to meet, and discuss, the sex lives of fellow students.
That it snowballs into a billion dollar monster, tearing apart friendships, spawning greed and opportunity for almost everyone involved (including Zuckerberg, who is quite modest about his mega wealth) is the nasty offshoot, but what success story doesn’t have backstabbing , megalomania, and untoward ambition? This is riveting stuff, with an excellent young cast ably handling Sorkin’s rapid fire dialogue and Fincher’s black sense of humor.
- Currently 4.0/5 Stars.
It seems a bit odd now to think that only seven years ago, social networking via the Internet barely existed, or that 15 years ago it was not only unheard of, but not even dreamt of. Now of course it’s a contemporary social phenomenon, with many sites cropping up – but they’re all chasing the big daddy of them all, Facebook.
The story of how Facebook came to be is, perhaps surprisingly (or perhaps not, depending on your viewpoint), the subject of much conjecture, innuendo and even mythology. One version of the tale is to be found in Ben Mezrich’s book The Accidental Billionaires; and it’s that story that forms the basis of David Fincher’s brilliant and compelling new film, The Social Network.
This is something of a return to form for Fincher. After the relative disappointment of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (still a movie most directors would kill to have on their CV), The Social Network is a return to the kind of rapid-fire, razor-sharp direction that marked Fincher’s early work in movies like Se7en, Fight Club and Panic Room.
The key to this film is not so much the story, as the way it’s told. Fincher doesn’t just present the events, he draws you into them. You feel like you could be there in the room with the characters. And just as you’re feeling pretty cosy, he pulls the rug out from under you and trips off to another mesmerising scene. All of this is driven by a fantastic soundtrack, harking back to Fincher’s days as a director of music videos.
When it comes right down to it, The Social Network is not the story of Facebook; rather it’s the story of the site’s founder (or at least one of them), Mark Zuckerberg. This is arguably Fincher’s most intriguing to date because, possibly for the first time, he’s made a film that’s more character study than it is narrative. His delving into the complex and somewhat inscrutable character of Zuckerberg is far more penetrating than his treatment of the protagonists in his other films.
In Zuckerberg – at least the Zuckerberg as portrayed by Mezrich – Fincher finally finds a character he can dissect in painstaking (and sometimes, painful) detail through an amazing performance from Jesse Eisenberg. Throughout the film, we’re given glimpses into Zuckerberg’s identity, but these are often elliptical and sometimes conflicting. Is the Zuckerberg of The Social Network a kind of idiot-savant, swept along by the power plays of others; is he a cruel manipulator who would stop at nothing to achieve his goals; or is he perhaps just a damaged soul like the rest of us searching for something meaningful in his life? The film doesn’t answer the question precisely; and like all real people (as opposed to movie stereotypes) the reality is likely to be some kind of blend of the three.
With this extensive and probing study of Zuckerberg, it’s inevitable that some of the other characters will suffer somewhat in the film’s 2-hour running time. The Winklevoss twins (Armie Hammer), for example, are dangerously close to stereotypes; and Sean Parker (Justin Timberlake), who was involved with Napster, doesn’t get too much of a run. On the other hand, the script is quite generous to Eduardo Saverin (Andrew Garfield) who ends up in litigation with Zuckerberg over the site.
Of course, the history of litigation surrounding Facebook is largely a matter of public record. Here, Fincher uses that to advantage by basically telling his story via two court cases brought against Zuckerberg; one by Saverin and the other by Winklevoss. The action of the events surrounding Zuckerberg and his cohorts is intercut with scenes involving the legal proceedings. The tie between the two – and of course, what they represent – is exceptionally well-handled by Fincher and becomes a primary factor in making the film tick.
But since this is Fincher we’re talking about, you know there’s going to be some flashy stuff, and he doesn’t disappoint. The most arresting scene from a filmmaking perspective is a bravura look at the Henley Regatta in the UK; but there are plenty of fine moments, including the dialogue-heavy but crucially important opening scene; and a moment when one of Zuckerberg’s lawyers explains some home truths to him.
The performances are all first-rate, led by Eisenberg’s top-notch portrayal of Zuckerberg. Andrew Garfield is a more than adequate support as Saverin; while Justin Timberlake gets to show his acting chops as the brash Parker. Some of the best moments however come from the secondary players, notably Armie Hammer who plays both Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss (just how he does that is a story in itself).
The Social Network is already featuring heavily in Oscar speculation, and it’s likely to be there or thereabouts come nominations time. This is spcatacular filmmaking that should both challenge and excite audiences. Even if you have no idea what Facebook is, this film delivers in terms of pure human drama. Certainly one of the films of the year, this is a movie for real film lovers to savour.
Prior to its release, if one peg could be attached to David Fincher’s The Social Network, it would be “The Facebook Movie”. However, now that the finished product has seen the light of day, the only peg that applies is “work of art”. That evolution from opportunism to genuinely fascinating artistic expression is a major part of what makes The Social Network work so well.
So how did this happen? Turns out, good, old-fashioned movie-making can take you as far as you’re willing to go. Beginning at a script level, screenwriter Aaron Sorkin has devised a narrative that touches eternal themes of friendship, betrayal, and class. It is also expertly put together by Fincher, who avoids his usual visual trickery-as in the adrenaline fueled, punch drunk photography in his Fight Club- in favor of a more sedate and clinical approach to the material.
The film begins on a chilly late fall evening in a college town dive bar. Wild noise crowds the soundtrack as the audience joins two voices (one male, the other female) in mid-conversation. The scene is a verbal high-wire act between Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg) and Erica Albright (Rooney Mara), who will break up with Mark by the scene’s end. The two fire back witty exchanges of dialogue that force the audience to adjust to a much faster pace than they are accustomed to.
That is the method of this movie: moving at high intellectual speeds and expecting the audience to keep up. Sorkin’s screenplay forgoes the tiresome process of explain how a website is created and instead focuses on strict character development. It doesn’t matter if the audience doesn’t know a single line of computer code because it is always so obvious that the main characters know what they’re talking about. It is important to know how smart these character are and how passionate they are about what they’re doing.
The Social Network is essentially a movie with a revolving point of view, shifting from Zuckerberg to Eduardo Saverin (Andrew Garfield) and the Winkevoss twins (both played, in a feat of stunning special effects, by Armie Hammer). All claim to have a large share in the creation of Facebook, and their legal depositions provide the movie’s flashback structure. The Social Network forces the audience to sit up and actively engage in what is happening on screen. This is a movie where allegiance will shift from character to character, and the truth always seems tenuous and uncertain.
Some have claimed that the vague nature of “truth” offered by Fincher and Sorkin discredits the entire picture. Nothing is further from the truth. A movie, even one based on a true story, can do what it wishes with the facts, so long as it remains compelling. Other articles have termed the film a hack-job against Facebook-founder Mark Zuckerberg. I would completely disagree with that notion. Both Fincher and Sorkin are notorious perfectionists in their given fields, and their empathy for Zuckerberg is what lingers with audience well after the closing credits. We may never like Zuckerberg, but Sorkin and Fincher let us in on trying to understand him. That is the true story of the movie. It’s not ‘The Facebook Movie", it’s a character study of the highest order.
- Currently 5.0/5 Stars.
I hate these types of movies. Frankly, I’m shocked by how highly this has been rated by a number of the people I follow. For me, The Social Network felt like nothing more than American Pie a la David Fincher. This thing has it all – the unnaturally zippy Hollywood style dialog / behavior, the stereotypical and ridiculous depictions of campus life / parties, and not to mention scenes that were downright laughable, including a moment where one of the twins suggests they “look at the student handbook” and then conveniently grabs one 2 feet away from him, then opens up to some random page and instantly finds what he was looking for. Granted the circumstances under which Fincher and Sorkin portray Facebook to be created are undoubtedly interesting, but also anti-climactic to say the least. I just can’t think of any merit it contains strong enough to consider this above a 2 star movie.
- Currently 2.0/5 Stars.
This film is so desperate to sex up the life of a code-nerd with Asperger syndrome and ram home its banal theme (“the man who created Facebook has no friends”) that the truth, complexity, and to my mind, fascinating aspects of the real story gets thrown under the onrushing bus of one dimensional fiction. It’s a hit job on a pack of real human beings and their motivations. Tonally, thematically and factually dishonest to the last frame. Good music though, and Eisenberg deserves the praise he’s getting.
The very source of this film is suspect. The book it’s taken from was solely the revenge creation of Eduardo Saverin who approached the author after Saverin felt he had been jilted by Zuckerberg. The book was a revenge hit that left out facts, defamed people and made no attempt to interview any other parties involved in the matter. It was never taken seriously by either the tech-crowd or the press. Now the movie hits and has Saverin being the good guy and Sean Parker – who actually helped Facebook grow into what it is today and is still a behind the scenes consultant, not to mention one of the most influential coders of our time – as the bad guy.
I don’t think Sorkin or Fincher have any clue about the code-monkeys who have changed their world forever, and if they do… they certainly don’t seem to care enough to make real, complicated, ambitious art about them.
- Currently 2.0/5 Stars.
A lot of people wanna blow this off, or look at it like its some stupid movie because its about facebook. But those same people who’re “too cool” to see a movie about facebook not only have a facebook account, but probably check it many times a day, and have made the social networking site a regular part of their everyday life. There’s so many stupid things we do on facebook, why not go see a movie about it directed by one of the few talented studio directors (David Fincher) around? We all know by now that The Social Network is a movie about the rise (and legal battles) of facebook creator; David Zucker. The movies takes us in to the creation of the social networking site, and enemies made in the process. For a movie that sounds so pointless and silly, David Fincher still managed to put his unique dark tone on it just like; The Game, Zodiac, Alien 3 (which is an underrated movie) and Se7en. In fact, this movie was so well made, that you forget its is just about facebook. My main issue with the movie have to do with lead actor Jesse Eisenberg. I may catch hate for this, because I already see a lot of people praising his performance, but his acting started to get on my nerves as the movie went on. That fast talking monotone delivery works in doses, but when it goes on for almost two hours, you just want to punch him in the face. Thats really my one and only issue with the film. Other than that, I actually thought it was pretty good. Is it one of the best movies of the year? No (although many people will say otherwise). But still worth seeing for sure. With the exception of Panic Room and Benjamin Button, id see anything that David Fincher director directs. I like the idea of ex-music video directors turning to film. Fincher, Mark Romenak, Michel Gondry and Spike Jonze have all graduated to feature film, and have been able to bring style and their own unique atmosphere to each movie they direct, which is something thats usually missing from most studio films today if you ask me. Trent Reznor’s does an amazing job with the soundtrack. He was able to put his signature on it, without making the synth-based music sound to impeding or distracting from the movie. Oh, and for my fellow DJ’s out there…did anyone notice that during period of the film thats set in 2003, there’s a DJ at a frat party using Serato? Its 2003. Wouldnt it be final scratch or even actual vinyl?
- Currently 3.0/5 Stars.
Review for The Sheaf:
If you’re unfamiliar with The Social Network, you’re horribly out-of-touch. It’s the new movie about Mark Zuckerberg, the Harvard undergraduate genius (now billionaire) who created Facebook, the titular network with 500 million members that revolutionized the way we use the Internet and connect with each other. But don’t think that this means that The Social Network is just a movie-of-the-week that was made to cash in on the popularity of Facebook. In fact, the rushed production of the film only mirrors the immediacy that has become commonplace in our age, an immediacy that Facebook has only reinforced ten-fold.
As directed by David Fincher (Se7en, Fight Club) and written by Aaron Sorkin (The West Wing, A Few Good Men), The Social Network is a whip-smart, gorgeously shot talkie, where brilliant dialogue flies faster than bullets and the pace is quicker than that of an action film.
As Mark Zuckerberg, Jessie Eisenberg (Zombieland) sheds his usual awkwardly likable, poor-man’s Michael Cera self and plays Zuckerberg as a cold, socially-inept, smart and ambitious young man more akin to Charles Foster Kane than a character from Freaks and Geeks. Zuckerberg’s an asshole, but he’s also a brilliant one; he’s the hero by default because what he accomplishes so quickly and at such a young age is so impressive, you can’t help but be in awe.
However, Eisenberg’s performance isn’t he only one of note. As co-founder and CFO of the growing Facebook, Andrew Garfield’s (Sony’s new Spider-Man) Eduardo Saverin is the emotional heart of the film. He’s its most sympathetic character, but his belief in friendship and trust are detrimental to him. His conforming to the traditional mode of friendship is the very reason he’s not fit to be a part of a company that redefined what a friend is.
Justin Timberlake is a steal-stealer as Napster founder, Sean Parker. Part party-animal, part corporate networker, part genius entrepreneur, Parker as played by Timberlake is a charismatic wild card, driving Zuckerberg to push Facebook to its potential and replacing Saverin as the other driving force of the online revolution. Rounding out the cast is Armie Hammer playing the twins Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss as entitled, yet not entirely unjustified, athletes suing Zuckerberg for stealing their idea.
The Social Network isn’t just a smart drama of ambition, though. While parts of it may play like a Shakespearean tragedy of friendship and betrayal, Sorkin’s script balances it with a healthy dose of the college sex comedy. It’s a terrifically funny film, not in the same way that a Will Ferrell movie is, but more like a screwball comedy aimed at the modern, literate young person. It also taps into the modern ethos of the geek as hero. It’s fitting that in one scene Zuckerberg and Saverin attend a Bill Gates lecture, because The Social Network is another example of the geek inheriting the earth.
The Social Network is most certainly not the film that we all imagined it would be. It is not Facebook: The Movie. Instead, it is the modern tale of one young man’s ambition, of his drive to recreate the world in his own image. It’s a terrific film, one that everyone ought to see. Not only will it inspire you, it will entertain and mesmerize you. Few films in recent years have seemed as urgent or have captured an image of our modern times as accurately. But don’t think that The Social Network is only a film of the Here-and-Now. It’s a film primarily about ambition, and even if Facebook is a thing of the twenty-first century, ambition, that’s timeless.
- Currently 5.0/5 Stars.
This is a great political film. Not to be confused with films about professional politicians: Primary Colors, Wag the Dog, The Candidate, etc. (although I like those films), this is a great film about politics, i.e. the politics of life; the political human animal; the way in which we manipulate; construct and reconstruct our personalities; minute to minute interactions, personal beliefs; assimilate and manipulate: the social network.
Its always funny to hear someone claim their distaste for politics and/or politicians, when the fact is, we are all politicians; everyday we make subtle, and not so subtle decisions based purely on instinctive (and sometimes contrived) political motivations: whom to speak to and how; whom to love, and how; when to lie, when to tell the “truth”; how to dress; how to wear our hair; it may not be pretty, but its as natural as sex and hunger, and just as animalistic.
- Currently 4.0/5 Stars.
The Social Network was full of tension and blistering sharp-witted dialogue. The plot was well constructed with two court depositions being conducted and flash backs taking the audience to see the events as they unfold. The music was also stellar at setting the mood throughout.
The Harvard atmosphere with so many privileged or super intelligent students was foreign to me. I don’t know people like this. I could never accomplish something like Facebook. It was fascinating to peek inside this world. There is no easy answer to whether Mark Zuckerberg, played as a barely suppressed smart aleck by Eisenberg, is a good guy or a bad guy. Eduardo Saverin, Zuckerberg’s business partner in the beginning, is a stand out as played by Andrew Garfield mainly because he has the opportunity to show more emotional range. Erica (Rooney Mara) is the girl who got away and then was publicly insulted online by Zuckerberg. The movie presents her as if she was Zuckerberg’s major motivation for doing most of what he did in developing Facebook. The movie’s official site says Armie Hammer plays both Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss. IMDb lists Josh Pence as Tyler, one of the Windlevoss twins. I’m not sure what digital effects were used in either doubling Armie Hammer or using Josh Pence as a body double. Either way, the Windlevoss twins and Divya Narendra (Max Minghella) play a group of spoiled Harvard students who have an idea for a social network site that would be exclusive for Harvard students. Then when Zuckerberg makes it bigger and better than they could imagine they become one of the parties suing him. Sean Parker (Justin Timberlake), the founder of Napster, becomes a seductive force in influencing Zuckerberg to maintain control of his company and push it to grow past university borders and past the million mark. Wild parties with drugs and drunk girls stripping down to their underwear become regular occurrences for the big spenders though Zuckerberg is 100% focused on building Facebook. Timberlake plays the slimy character with relish. The friendship between Zuckerberg and Saverin is tragic as we watch Facebook blow up in popularity. The rise and fall of Mark Zuckerberg happened simultaneously and we have not really reached an end to the story either.
- Currently 5.0/5 Stars.
Much like everyone else out there who uses Facebook, I couldn’t care less about a movie telling the origins of the site. Then a couple of months ago, I was floored by the utterly fantastic trailer for The Social Network. Using an eerie chorus cover of the Radiohead classic “Creep”, showing small aspects of Facebook, and segments of the film made me (as some say) “In Like Flint”.
As you might guess, the movie is about the rise of Facebook from the dorm rooms of Harvard to its prominence in Palo Alto today. The story starts with Mark Zuckerberg getting dumped by his girlfriend. Out of anger, he blogs hatefully on Livejournal about her all the while hacking the Harvard database to make a hot or not website with the students pictures. He gets a slap on the wrist by the faculty board and a slap in the face by his ex. When Zuckerberg made this website, it was emailed to different students around campus which in turn spread the site like wildfire. Two twin brothers on campus ( Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss) noticed the popularity of the site and proposed to Zuckerberg an idea for a social site that was exclusive to only Harvard members. Zuckerberg partially agreed to make the site and yet decided to make his own site using the same idea the twins had on the side. Instead of calling it Harvard Connection, he named the site thefacebook.com with the help of his friend, Eduardo to fund it.
The site becomes extremely popular, encouraging Zuckerberg to bring it to other colleges around the country. After it touches down to Stanford, Sean Parker (founder of Napster) looked at the site and saw huge potential. After having a meeting with Zuckerberg and Eduardo, Sean joins the team and they decide to move to Palo Alto where Facebook grew to what it is today. Throughout the entirety of the movie, Facebook is faced with lying, deceit, and betrayal which catches up to Zuckerberg in the present day with various legal battles.
“The Social Network” was a superb movie to experience. In all honesty I was 99% sure this movie will be a miserable failure from start to finish. The book it was adapted from is a horrible mess of a biography while the subject itself isn’t exactly exciting to watch on the big screen. Little did I know that a dream team of talent was working on this film to make it one of the best executed films this year. Aaron Sorkin (of West Wing prominence) wrote the script, David Fincher (Fight Club) directed, Trent Reznor (Nine Inch Nails) composed the score, and the ensemble of young actors knocked it out the ballpark. What you get is a smart, funny, and mostly fictionalized drama of a story that no one knows the truth about.
The movie could have been a total letdown if it wasn’t for the near perfect cast that went along with the film. Andrew Garfield played the perfect buddy as Eduardo Saverin who while very sensible, was brought down by his trust in his friends. Justin Timberlake was perfectly cast as the internet superstar Sean Parker who becomes the catalyst to the anarchy Facebook endured internally. Last but not least, Jesse Eisenberg in body and soul became the character Mark Zuckerberg with menace and a glint of desperation.
The first thing I noticed at the very start of the film is the lack of acknowledgment that this is indeed based on a true story. This made me realize the story is not true, in fact its just a fictionalized story based on real people. Pieces of the truth are scattered about the story in a buffet of lies. Aaron Sorkin fully knew this while going through the Ben Mezrich book and used it to create a modern day Rashomon. If you don’t know what movie I am talking about, rent it immediately. With the freedom Sorkin had, the movie played out like a classic Hollywood drama which was actually comforting to see back on the silver screen (and a surefire way to ring in the Oscars).
While it may not be the most loved film (i.e. Toy Story 3) or the most epic film (i.e. Inception), it should be noted that The Social Network is easily the best film of the year.
P.S. See more reviews on my blog: <http://pachinkokid.wordpress.com>
- Currently 5.0/5 Stars.