Cast: Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, Justin Timberlake
Synopsis: The alleged story behind the founding of Facebook and why Mark Zuckerberg is a giant douche
For those of you who saw my Zodiac review a while back, you will know that I am quite fond of the work of David Fincher. That man has style and savvy when it comes to film-making. If there is one thing that man is good at, it’s conducting subtle character studies. He did it in Zodiac, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Fight Club. The only film he didn’t really do it in is Alien 3 but the less said about that film the better.
The Social Network is probably Fincher’s most critically successful film and it’s easy to see why: it’s well-acted, it’s intriguing, and it presents a multifaceted account on what happened when Facebook got its start…not to say that I think it’s an accurate portrayal. I am sure the story was sexed-up a little in the film. Either way, The Social Network is a very “current” film. Aided by Aaron Sorkin’s razor sharp screenplay, it manages to avoid pitfalls other “current” movies such as The Fifth Estate fell afoul of: namely being fucking dull. Also, Sorkin’s script manages to keep the story focused and streamlined, which is something Zodiac did not accomplish.
So what were some of the film’s better points? For starters, Armie Hammer. I’m just going to put this out there: that is one beautiful panty dropper and in this film there are two of him! The rowing scene in this film is just…yum. Beyond his blatant sex appeal, Hammer also does one of the best acting jobs in this film. Playing twins is not an easy thing to do but Hammer manages to keep the two characters similar enough in key ways such as speech and mannerisms but injects enough difference in their personalities to keep it believable. I hadn’t heard of the guy the first time I saw this film but I honestly believed it an actual pair of twins.
Other acting kudos need to go to Rooney Mara, who only has a very small role in the film but manages to steal every scene she’s in with an inherent likeability. Andrew Garfield is also worthy of mention not only because he’s adorable and I want to hug him but also because he does a stand-up job in this film. Rashida Jones was also pretty good as a second year associate who specialises in voir dire, or jury selection procedures. She manages to peg Eisenberg’s Zuckerberg well and determines that no jury would ever buy his story as he’s unlikeable. However, bitch needs to work on her game! She can get a jury to believe he framed his business partners with one question? I can do that without any words. You know how? Show the jury a picture of Zuckerberg wearing socks and sandals. A pearl of wisdom I received from my grandmother: never trust a man who wears socks and sandals. What kind of person wears socks and sandals? Ted Bundy probably. Trust me, I am an actual lawyer. I know what I’m talking about.
In all seriousness, it’s hard for me to comment on the accuracy of this film, partly because I haven’t read the book it’s based on but mainly because I don’t know anyone involved. Despite that, I think Fincher’s adaptation makes a special effort to show all sides of the debate and, by the end of the film, the audience begins to see the strengths of each character. The Winklevoss twins were civil and honourable at first; Eduardo was prudent and overly cautious but was right in advising Zuckerberg not to trust Sean Parker; and Zuckerberg is clearly on the autism scale but he comes to learn that every single one of his actions have consequences. Every character in this film is human and that’s what makes it such an interesting character study.
- Two sweaty Armie Hammers. My cup runneth over.
- Interesting characters and a good deal is spent on their development.
- The hilarious moment when the Stanford student wakes up with Sean Parker and you can see the fear in her eyes that most uni students experience at one point in their lives: the fear that they have just been banged by a townie.
- The awkward English gentleman was perfect.
- Wonderfully sharp screenplay.
- Computer speak. I don’t understand a word of it.
- The portrayal of women in this film is slightly odd. Rooney Mara is shown to be an upstanding lady and perfect girlfriend material. A lot of the others girls, however, are Harvard hos who get picked up in busses and perform acts of lesbianism to seduce Harvard boys. There’s no middle ground; if you’re a woman in this film you are either a slag or a saint.
- Justin Timberlake is the weakest actor in this. After watching In Time, I can’t say that I’m surprised.
The Social Network is probably one of the best films in recent years and displays Fincher’s versatility and skill as a filmmaker. The film is not perfect by any means, but I honestly think it should have beaten The King’s Speech at the Oscar’s for best film and best director. I think this film will be considered the better film in years to come. You should watch this film if you like balanced, character-driven films that don’t force your perspective and opinions but nudge you subtly in multiple directions.