When it was announced in 2009 that David Fincher was going to direct Jesse Eisenberg in a film about the creation of facebook there was a lot of doubt over whether the film (eventually nicknamed “the facebook movie”) could be pulled off. Fast forward one year and we were given the answer. It was a yes as Fincher and company did pull it off.
The Social Network follows three different storylines. The first one follows the events that lead to Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg) creating facebook with the help from his only friend, Eduardo Saverin (Andrew Garfield), and an idea that might have come from the Winklevoss twins (Armie Hammer plays both of the twins with his head digitally added to Josh Pence’s body for one of the twins). The second follows the deposition in a lawsuit filed by the Winklevoss twins against Mark. The final storyline follows a second deposition in a second lawsuit filed by Eduardo Saverin against Mark for events that are eventually revealed in the film.
If there was to be a most valuable contributor for this film it would definitely have to be Aaron Sorkin for his masterful script. Sorkin is able to create easily the most quotable film since 2008’s The Dark Knight. However, this is not the script’s only strength. Sorkin adds in a bunch of zip and the script moves at a racecar like pace. Most importantly, Sorkin creates a bunch of characters that can’t stop making bad decisions and yet we come out feeling bad for all of them. They may be assholes but Sorkin makes them assholes we can feel for. Unfortunately, the same can not be said for David Fincher’s direction, which, in my opinion, is the most overrated aspect of the film. I could easily see other directors pulling this film off as good if not better than Fincher. Fincher’s style is very noticeable throughout the film and in most cases feels out of pace (such as a very stylized rowing race scene, a scene following a group of women traveling to a dark-lit club to party, and some CGI enhanced cinematography during another club scene). I acknowledge I am in the minority in this opinion but I truly believe it to be true.
The cast of this film is pretty top notch. Jesse Eisenberg is just as integral to the creation of Zuckerberg as the script. Eisenberg is perfect for the fast pace dialogue the script contains, and he ends up creating one of the most fascinating film characters of this generation (so interesting that it is quite obvious that the events of this film are either not true or very exaggerated). Andrew Garfield as Eduardo Saverin has gotten the most critical love out of the three major supporting males but I think Justin Timberlake does more by making a more despicable figure, Sean Parker, into a sympathetic one by the end of the film. Armie Hammer is also a great service to the film as the most antagonistic characters in the film, the Winklevoss twins. However, the greatest performance of the supporting cast is Rooney Mara in a brief role as Zuckerberg’s ex-girlfriend. She surprisingly makes the most impact on the viewer despite appearing in only 2 scenes.
The behind the camera aspects of the film are pretty good. The score on its own is amazing but within the context of the film seems out of place at times. The cinematography is at times great but at other times over the top. The editing is great and definitely awards worthy. However, most impressive is the CGI. One of the big complaints of Tron: Legacy was how the CGI Bridges looked fake, but here the inclusion of Armie Hammer’s head onto Josh Pence’s body to make the second Winklevoss twin looks completely real.
Although it is not the second coming (like some critics make it out to be), The Social Network is a solid biopic featuring one of the most interesting film characters of the new millennium in Mark Zuckerberg.
The Social Network has been nominated for 8 Academy Awards including:
-Best Director-David Fincher
-Best Lead Actor-Jesse Eisenberg
-Best Adapted Screenplay
-Best Original Score
-Best Sound Mixing