Review: The Social Network

There’s something I really love about calling the film The Social Network. I can’t really explain it well, and I won’t, because it would be like trying to explain a joke that failed. But it works in a lot of ways, because this is really not just Facebook: The Movie.

I don’t know if I was supposed to find it as hilarious as I did. There were a number of moments where I was the only one laughing. And I was laughing hard. Not because it was bad funny, where I laugh at the crap-ness or how terrible it was. I really found all the geeky humour absolutely brilliant, as well as Mark Zuckerberg’s borderline autistic tendencies. Or at least the Jesse Eisenberg version. Oh, and President Summers (Douglas Urbanski) was brilliant. My favorite line was accusing the Winklevoss brothers (or Winklevi) of “trying to sell me a Brook Brothers franchise”.

Aaron Sorkin’s writing is the best thing about The Social Network. Of course all the other aspects of the film contribute to its brilliance, but the without it, it would definitely not be the same movie. I loved how the narrative jumps around the timeline of events so much. It was kind of testing the attention of the audience without being too difficult to follow. I’ll admit I liked it better before it starts to become like a courtroom flashback drama (I know it wasn’t really a courtroom), but in a way it works better than filling in between the major scenes with pointless ones to make it flow.

I know there have been loads of biopics and movies featuring characters based on real people, but it feels weird that these people are very much still around, and all the events took place less than a decade about. Most biopics are about dead people. I don’t know how close all the characters were to their real life counterparts, but I thought all the performances were excellent. Particularly Justin Timberlake, I mean he did do The Love Guru. And I’ve decided I really like Andrew Garfield after seeing him in this and Never Let Me Go. I don’t know if he’s the right Spiderman, but the guy can act. I was hoping Rooney Mara’s role would give me a chance to see whether she really can be Lisbeth Salander, but she was barely in it, and not that much was expected of her in terms of acting.

Due to a number of factors, I’ve had to wait two weeks to see this. And I was worried all the waiting and hoping and hype and expectations would mean I would be disappointed. I wasn’t. Even though I would really like to believe that’s exactly how things happened, I’m sure it wasn’t quite that exciting. However, it doesn’t really matter. I don’t think Aaron Sorkin or David Fincher meant The Social Network to be the E! True Hollywood Story of Facebook. They took the story (and Ben Mezrich’s book The Accidental Billionaires), and made a brilliant drama from it. And for the Facebook generation, it’s the best version of the history we have. For now. 


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