"The Social Network" is an automatic "Like"

Oct. 4, 2010, 10:36 p.m. | By Marjorie Fuchs | 11 years ago

Facebook is social, Facebook is business and Facebook has changed the way we think about the world. It's about time Hollywood has gotten the hint. Fortunately, director David Finch artfully delivered the first film about Facebook's beginnings. "The Social Network" captivates the audience with a rich cast, excellent cinematography and a well-written plot.

Based off of the book "Accidental Billionaires" by Ben Mezrich, "The Social Network" tells the tale of the world's youngest billionaire, Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg) and his creation of Facebook. In the fall of 2003, Zuckerberg's girlfriend dumped him. Drunk, angry and hurt, Zuckerberg, then a Harvard sophomore, designed a website that compared the attractiveness of Harvard girls. The site, deemed Facemash, managed to create enough traffic that it shut down the Harvard internet server. Zuckerberg attracts the attention of three Harvard entrepreneurs and agrees to join their team to create an exclusive Harvard social networking site. He avoids the three and instead teams up with his best friend, Eduardo Saverin (Andrew Garfield), to create their own networking site. Together they launch "The Facebook" and rapidly expand to schools all over the nation. Napster founder Sean Parker (Justin Timberlake) becomes Zuckerberg's mentor, leads him to California and to the beginnings of fame and fortune. Over the course of the next seven years, Zuckerberg is sued by the entrepreneurs for intellectual property theft and thanks to Facebook, is left to deal with his newly complicated life.

Jesse Eisenberg masterfully portrays Zuckerberg who is an odd contradiction, socially awkward and lacking in basic social skills, but an ingenious programmer. Everything in Eisenberg's portrayal works; his rapid speaking style, one-track mind, and hoodie and jeans wardrobe all come together to create the clueless know-it-all and sometimes jerk Zuckerberg. Proving to be a multifaceted actor, Eisenberg also shows Zuckerberg's humanity and how his absolute focus on creating Facebook tragically prevented him from building strong relationships.

An all star cast carried the movie and its characters through the complexities of the business world. Andrew Garfield impeccably portrayed Eduardo Saverin as the ultimate good guy. Saverin was the best friend and co-founder who was slowly pushed out of his own company. Garfield captured the trust Saverin had with his partner and his wariness of the outside world. Even while sitting in hearings because of his lawsuit against Zuckerberg, Garfield shows Saverin to be contemplative, as if wondering if this all could have turned out differently.

Already the king of the music world, Timberlake joined The Social Network as another star, Napster founder Sean Parker. Timberlake fits into the role of the business world's hot celebrity perfectly, he was gregarious, outgoing and always thinking of the next great invention. Timberlake's Parker gave Zuckerberg the high-tech world on a silver platter and immediately got him, and everyone sitting in the audience, hooked.

The clever script gave authenticity to the movie while bolstering the strong acting. Eisenberg would rattle off math and programming terms, allowing the audience to get inside his head without terminology overload. Garfield's business vocabulary added to the authenticity of his character and justified his position as Facebook CFO. Characters' lines made the film feel like reality, as if the cameras simply caught these people in action. Neither the dialogue nor the plot dragged due to quality writing.

Despite the engaging story, the cinematography was only adequate. Ultra-focused shots, where only one subject was in focus and everything else was blurred, were used throughout the movie. At best, these shots added to the cinematographic diversity, but they mostly made the audience feel dizzy.

Nonetheless, the is definitely worth the buzz as it delivers on many different levels. "The Social Network" is part fiction, part fact, but completely engaging.

The Social Network is rated PG-13 for sexual content, drug and alcohol use and language. The film runs 121 minutes and is now showing in area theaters.

Marjorie Fuchs. Marjorie gets her name from a variety of sources- "Marjorie” being her Great-Grandmother's name and "Fuchs” meaning fox in German. She tends to go by Margie. Margie is keen on traveling, especially to new places, adores Europe and the American Southwest. She loves creativity, eclectic … More »

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