Director: David Fincher
Screenplay: Aaron Sorkin
Based on a book by: Ben Mezrich
Producers: Dana Brunetti, Ceán Chaffin, Michael De Luca, Scott Rudin
Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, Justin Timberlake, Joseph Mazzello, Armie Hammer, Rooney Mara
Year: 2010
Country: USA
BBFC Certification: 12A
Duration: 120 min

I can't say I thought this was "the best film I've seen all year" or whatever gushing thing it is the critics are saying about The Social Network but I was impressed.

The story follows what happened when Harvard student Mark Zuckerberg invented the social networking site Facebook in early 2004 while still at college. Anyone who watches the news will at least have heard of Zuckerberg at some point and what fascinated me most about this film was just how they got away with making it. Zuckerberg is still young, he still has a reputation but he also has several billion dollars and he doesn't need the money, so what prompted him to let them expose his law suits, his ex girlfriends and his shocking lack of social skills to the world? But maybe that interests me because I'm a 'film student' and I have to write case studies about such things. As for the rest of the population...

Jesse Eisenberg gives an extremely convincing performance as Zuckerberg right from the brilliantly written opening scene - no establishing shots, no landscape, just a conversation between Zuckerberg and his girlfriend that tells everything we need to know about this guy, including just why so many people wanted to sue him. But the actor manages to make us care about the character too, he lets us see behind the tech-speak, high IQ and perfectionism into Zuckerberg's vulnerability and obsession with cool and ultimately shows that he was just a boy who wanted to be popular - but he still became the worlds youngest billionaire and there we have the hook.

Look out for Justin Timberlake in a surprisingly good performance. I've been told he's already proven himself as a good actor but if you're sceptical like I was watch this film and enjoy being persuaded.

Zuckerberg's irritating geek is played off against his best friend and apparent co-founder of Facebook Eduardo Saverin (Andrew Garfield). Eduardo is so kind, so patient with Zuckerberg, so good looking and so damn nice you wonder if this part of history more than any other has been re-scripted for Hollywood and yet it's this relationship that gives the story it's depth and makes it ultimately a buddy movie of sorts. The film lacks high drama moments, is darkly comic but only in places and you feel it could have been more so but ultimately it's believable and if the film makers have taken us for a ride and Zuckerberg's real life was so far removed from the film that he just doesn't care then its a damn good ride.

If I spoilt the end by revealing that Zuckerberg makes his billions I'm sorry but if that came as a surprise to you then I'm guessing you're not on Facebook and this film wouldn't make a lot of sense to you anyway. Try 'Vampires Suck' or 'Wall Street', I've heard they're good too. Right, I'm off to post this link on Facebook...

Review by Rosalie F

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4 Responses

  1. David Brook

    I thought this was great too. Like you said, it never feels particularly dramatic yet it draws you in and doesn’t let you go. It’s so fast-paced, it certainly didn’t feel like a 2 hour film. It felt very fresh without being flashy too by avoiding Hollywood conventions and sentimentality. Great stuff.

    Reply
  2. Darren Bolton

    Still haven’t seen this yet. Can’t wait. Definitely this weekend! Was going to watch it last week but ended up watching Winters Bone (brilliant) and Wall Street 2 (the opposite of brilliant)

    Reply
  3. David Brook

    Winters Bone is on tomorrow at The Odeon, can’t wait! The next batch of Directors Chair screenings is brilliant actually, as well as that they’re showing Metropolis, The Illusionist and another couple of awesome sounding ones that I can’t remember off the top of my head. I’m going to be busy the next few Tuesdays 🙂

    Reply

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