The Social Network
Starring Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, and Justin Timberlake
Directed by David Fincher (Fight Club)
Rated PG-13 for sexual content, drug and alcohol use and language
Appropriate for ages 13+
While a two-hour movie about the creation of the popular social media site Facebook sounds excruciating at first thought, The Social Network proves that when you get a good enough director, writer, and cast – any story can be made not only interesting but thrilling as well.
The Social Network begins with the not so humble albeit brilliant Mark Zuckerberg (Eisenberg) as he succeeds in getting the authorities at Harvard riled up by crashing their servers. From there he lands himself in hot water when he decides to create the first version of Facebook and people come out of the woodwork claiming that he stole their ideas and even their right to the profits of the site. We all know what happens in the present, but following these early years (all of which take place within the last decade) asks many questions that have never really been answered and tells the tale of a brash young genius who doesn’t care about money but does care deeply about the credit.
David Fincher does such an excellent job creating a crazy, frantic mood and he gives the film a great deal of its dark personality. That being said, without the amazing script by Aaron Sorkin (The West Wing) it’s hard to imagine this movie being worth watching at all. It might not be completely non-fiction, since the story did not come from the keyboards of those that were there, but it’s as close to non-fiction as we’ll probably ever get and the events are what are most important. Getting from one stage to the next is all in the hands of one of the best writers of our generation.
Also of great importance is the extremely talented cast. Jesse Eisenberg has always played such nerdy, wimpy characters and for him to come on as the man whose brain can beat your brawn is truly impressive. Andrew Garfield and Justin Timberlake also provide terrific performances that could land either or both an Oscar nom this year.
The film’s not perfect by any means. There are moments where the technicalities cause it to drag and while the tale might be true, the story objectifies and demeans women to a place where they are nothing more than girlfriends or wannabe lovers of smart men, not capable of actually contributing to the success of Facebook, except for in an inspirational manner.
Still, these are forgivable sins, and the pic ends up being one of the most entertaining films to be released so far this year. A-