The Social Network
Monday, October 11th, 2010
In the first scene, the rapid fire back and forth of Mark Zuckerberg (Eisenberg) and his girlfriend, Erica Albright (Rooney Mara), elegantly builds in intensity, becoming more and more disjointed until not only have they broken up in the course of a five minute conversation, but they have done so so suddenly that both Mark and the audience are left asking, “What the hell just happened?” And with that, we are hurled into three separate worlds simultaneously: that of the writer, that of the director, and that of the main character - three seamless layers.
“The Social Network” tells a story of inspiration and creation, of friendship, of obsession, and of loss. It jumps back and forth and back again between the original conception of the world’s largest Internet-based social network, Facebook, in a Harvard undergrad dormitory, and the subsequent legal proceedings, in which friends and schoolmates alike are suing Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg over intellectual property rights and underhanded business practices.
Through this flashback, flash-forward form, the film slips between three narratives: those of Mark Zuckerberg (Eisenberg, whose delivery of Sorkin’s lines is dead on, surpassing actors who have been in the business since before Eisenberg could speak), Eduardo Saverin (Andrew Garfield), Mark’s best friend and co-founder of Facebook, and the Winklevoss twins (both played expertly by Armie Hammer) who claim to have had the original idea for what Zuckerberg would later turn into Facebook.
However this is no tell-all of who did what to whom; there are no conclusions given here as to who is guilty. No one is painted as a hero. No one is a pure villain. No one is right, and no one is wrong. By the end of the film, only one fact is certain: with a perfect yin-yang balance of Fincher’s noir-inspired talent in capturing the velvety richness of old Hollywood, and Sorkin’s honed dexterity in composing melodic dialogue with that trademark machine-gun cadence and deadly accuracy, “The Social Network” is a beast.
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