The Social Network

Facebook is one of the largest social networking sites dominating the internet these days, and just about everybody is on it. I’m on Facebook; my friends are on Facebook, and it’s not too much of a stretch to guess that even you too are on Facebook. Facebook has become so large over the last few years, quickly becoming the new thing and making Myspace obsolete, and now it even has its own movie, sorta. The Social Network, starring Jesse Eisenberg (of Zombieland fame), is a dramatized adaptation of the true story of the creation of Facebook, the major $65 million dollar lawsuit that followed, and the rise of the world’s youngest billionaire, Mark Zuckerberg. The movie has so far seen very positive reviews, and just about everybody I know who has seen it loved it. Of course, I’m not one to immediately trust what the average joe enjoys in cinema, but when I went and viewed this movie for myself I was a bit more than pleasantly surprised. Here’s why:

It all started with a drunken prank. After going through a tough break up with his girlfriend, Harvard undergraduate Mark Zuckerberg created by hacking the face books of several Harvard houses and stealing the images of female undergrads to set up a “hot or not?” comparison competition between them, all while intoxicated and simultaneously blogging angrily about his ex-girlfriend. The site got more than 22,000 hits within an hour once set up at an astonishing 4:00am, causing the the Harvard servers to crash. This was only the beginning. After facing the Harvard administrative board and being forced to take the site down, Mark had to face the hate of the entire school. However, his little stunt caught the attention of the Winklevoss twins and Divya Narendra, also Harvard undergraduates. They looked to recruit Mark Zuckerberg into their new project, a Harvard social networking site…

One of my favorite aspects of The Social Network was the sheer strength of the actors. Although I did not know a thing about any of these portrayed characters beforehand, the outstanding performance of the cast allowed me to really get to know them; while they do not necessarily reflect what the actual people are like, the characters within the movie were fantastic. The acting really reflected real life while at the same time carrying the dramatic plot and keeping it interesting.

This is also one of the funniest comedies I’ve seen in a very long time. You might ask yourself how a drama reflecting real life could also be a comedy without ruining the overall atmosphere of the movie, and indeed I was asking myself the same thing, but it actually worked. This movie managed to be completely serious, yet hilarious at the same time, and I seriously stress “at the same time”. Literally, the movie can simultaneously have you deep in the drama of the characters, really feeling emotionally connected to each of them, yet have you laughing. Kudos to this movie for having my laugh and cry at the same time.

Other than that, the plot really seems to reflect real life: the seriousness, the lightheartedness, the quirkiness, everything. Yeah, while the delivery of a few lines seemed almost too good to be real, the characters still made it convincing and most importantly: enjoyable.

One thing that really got me excited for this movie was when I heard Trent Reznor was doing the music for The Social Network. I think this fact in itself really speaks for itself, but it’s very apparent. Perhaps it was with my knowledge that is was him in charge of the music for this film that allowed me to really notice his style, or maybe Trent is just fucking awesome. Either way, the music is great and it really helps set the tone of the film in an unconventional way, and good as always.

However, there were a few times I found myself noting how long the movie was, asking myself, “is this almost over yet?” It’s true that the movie is a bit long, and the lack of any huge build or climax leaves the audience at a loss to tell where they are in the plot, leaving it to end on a low key. Since it does reflect real life events, it’s only natural that there’s no dramatic climax; it’s sort of just one event after the other, like a documentary. How often does real life a have a dramatic turning point leading to a resolution? In this case, I think it really works for the movie, and despite being aware of the long length I still never found myself being bored during the movie.

Another negative point is that it does this confusing jump between the lawsuit and the main story. What’s happening is that during the court hearing in which the lawsuit is being made the characters are explaining what happened leading up to the lawsuit under oath. This threw me off a bit at first, since it failed to make it clear enough, but once I caught on the transitions became clean.

Despite all this, though, it’s still a very enjoyable movie, and certainly one of the best I’ve seen in a while. It doesn’t require you to suspend your disbelief too much since it does a great job at keeping a convincing atmosphere, and it doesn’t bore you because it remains very funny and entertaining throughout the film. The most impressive thing, though, is the acting which manages to stay strong all throughout (and Brenda Song surprisingly didn’t annoy me). In my opinion, this movie deserves a 9/10; yes, I enjoyed it that much. The chemistry of it all went so well together, that I just cannot dislike. I recommend this movie to anybody who likes low key dramas, or is just a huge fan of Facebook: you might learn something about that site you spend twenty hours a day on. Until my next review, this has been another movie critique by the Geek With Taste!