THE SOCIAL NETWORK – Film Review

In 2003, Harvard undergrad and computer genius Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg) begins work on a new concept that eventually turns into the global social network known as Facebook. Six years later, he is one of the youngest billionaires ever, but Zuckerberg finds that his unprecedented success leads to both personal and legal complications when he ends up on the receiving end of two lawsuits, one involving his former friend Eduardo Saverin (Andrew Garfield).

The first time I watched David Fincher’s The Social Network was when it was released on home video sometime in 2011. My parents also happen to be massive movie fans, and so they decided to rent the DVD of the film back at our local Blockbuster video store back when that was still a thing. We kind of have a tradition in our household, even to this day, where every single weekend, we all watch a movie together. It doesn’t matter which genre it is or what year it came out – if it looks interesting, we’ll watch it.

But back when I was ten years old, I didn’t really have any interest in dramas or thrillers. My favorite films ever back then were superhero or action films and I rarely dabbled into any other genre. There were some instances in which I would watch a drama with my parents, but I always wished we would watch something more “exciting” instead. However, when we watched The Social Network back in 2011, I remember genuinely liking the movie. A lot.

My parents weren’t too keen on it surprisingly, but I remember thinking it was incredibly entertaining, and although I definitely didn’t understand everything that was going on and a lot of the dialogue being spoken, I had a good time with the film.

Surprisingly enough though, I haven’t seen the film since then. I’ve seen a ton of Fincher’s movies in recent years but I have never gotten around to revisiting The Social Network. Until today. And I can happily report that it is somehow even better than I remember it being. This is a movie that is brimming with intensity and a story that will keep you on your toes for the entire running time.

Courtesy of Sony Pictures Releasing

Pretty much everybody knows that Facebook was invented by Mark Zuckerberg, but not as many people know the full, true story behind the social media website’s creation. There was a ton of greed involved in the mix from Zuckerberg’s behalf, and the first time I saw the movie, I was genuinely shocked after learning the true story of Facebook and how it was made in the first place.

Zuckerberg was aware of an idea that Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss came up with and thought it was so incredible that he actually took it and made it himself. There was essentially no difference between the Winklevoss’ original idea for their website and Zuckerberg’s website which as we all know would go on to be one of the biggest websites in history.

In some weird way, it’s actually kind of difficult to watch The Social Network. Not because it’s boring (because it most certainly isn’t) but because of how maddening this true story really is. You feel a ton of sympathy for everybody that was negatively impacted by Zuckerberg’s greed throughout his body of work. Eduardo Saverin and the Winklevoss brothers had every right to be mad about what Zuckerberg did, and Fincher did an excellent job at making this true story come to light in the most enthralling way possible.

And as frustrating as it is to watch Zuckerberg rise his way to the top, it’s truly mesmerizing to watch Jesse Eisenberg give his all in the role of Zuckerberg. Eisenberg seems like a relaxed and fun person to be around in real life, but he really did a mind-blowing job at portraying Zuckerberg.

He feels slimy and greedy in virtually every scene. Even in the beginning when you don’t know what’s going to happen (assuming you don’t know the Facebook story before watching the film) he feels like he is the type of person that would betray those closest to him if it means rising to the top.

Everybody involved in this project did a fantastic job, really. Andrew Garfield delivers one of the best performances of his career as Saverin, and Justin Timberlake proves that he is not only a great singer but a great actor as well in the role of Sean Parker. The Social Network has it all. Its score by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross is euphoric and honestly gave me chills during certain moments. Jeff Cronenweth’s cinematography feels so grand and meticulously thought out. It’s one of the best looking movies of the 2010s. The Social Network at the end of the day is one of the best movies of the 2010s. Maybe even one of the best movies ever made.

Overall Grade: A+

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for sexual content, drug and alcohol use and language

Cast: Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, Justin Timberlake, Armie Hammer, Max Minghella, Brenda Song, Rashida Jones, John Getz, David Selby, Denise Grayson, Rooney Mara

Directed by: David Fincher

Distributed by: Sony Pictures Releasing

Release Date: October 1, 2010

Running Time: 120 minutes

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