Saturday, June 25, 2011

The Social Network (2010)

Theatrical Poster
Source: Wikipedia
The Social Network tells of the story of the rise of Facebook, based on the book The Accidental Billionnaires by Ben Mezrich.

In 2003, Havard University student Mark Zuckerburg (Jesse Eisenberg) has just been dumped by his girlfriend. As revenge he posts horrible comments about her on his personal blog and sets up the website FaceMash where students can compare faces of girls on campus and rank them.

While this gains him notoriety on Havard Campus it does him very few favours with his girlfriend or his popularity and least of all with the College's board. Upon being given 6 months study leave he is approached by the Winklevoss twins, Cameron and Tyler (both played by Armie Hammer) who ask him to help with their project to create an exclusive social networking site.

Meanwhile, the story flashes to present day 2010 where Zuckerberg is being challenged by the twins for the rights for his new website, Facebook.


Following the recent news that the Winklevoss twins have dropped legal proceedings against Facebook - and continued under another lawsuit - it only seemed right to review the critically acclaimed film about the spat.

Before taking everything that the film has to offer as gospel, it is important to remember that the film is based on a book that was authored by a friend of the Winklevoss twins. Using this information, one should remember that certain characters and events may have been exaggerated for literary effect.

As a contemporary film though, it is excellent. Jesse Eisenberg plays the role of a vengeful and lonely genius very well. It is always difficult to portray a character that is still alive for fear of a backlash - much more so a multi-billionnaire. The supporting cast also stand up well to their roles - especially Armie Hammer who doesn't struggle under the weight of his two roles.

The choice to switch between the present lawsuits and the past is a risky one and this has the potential of ruining the past storyline because of something mentioned during the lawsuit. The risk was well executed enabling the audience to experience both the venerable and nonchalant sides of the Mark Zukerberg character.

From a technical point of view, and as someone that writes a lot of PHP for a job, I can confirm that a lot of the complicated jargon and code is accurate so a special mention should be made to the film's researching department for that.

An interesting insight into a contemporary but controversial character representation.

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