Friday, 5 November 2010

The Social Network ***

Directed by: David Fincher

Written by: Aaron Sorkin

Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield and Justin Timberlake.

This film has the potential to be brilliant. It's got a renowned director who also brought us Fight Club and Seven. It focuses on a topic that everybody knows. And it has some of the up and coming stars soon to be gracing our screens a lot more. Unfortunately, due to these reasons, the hype for this film was overdone, creating quite a disappointing cinematic experience, even though you can't put your finger on why. 

Hearing about a film telling you the history of Facebook seems pretty boring. We know it's a huge part of social life now but putting this idea into a film could seem mundane. Actually, the story is told very well. We see the rise and fall of Mark Zuckerberg and all his surrounding friends. Along with this, it's mixed in with cut backs to previous parts of his life, the end result and the activities he got up to. But it all seems glamorised. The facts are brief meaning your interpretation of the event is more dramatic as we can do a lot more with less information than acute detail. This produces quite a "he said, she said" feel rather than build up to huge success. I do have to say, when I logged into Facebook afterwards, I did go to look for Eduardo's name in the acknowledgements - Must of effected me somehow!

The acting was also very good, in parts. Andrew Garfield is superb. He really is going to be the next big star (and with his awkward dialogue and attractive features, I don't mind). He almost out shines the protagonist of the film, Jesse Eisenberg, because although perfectly fitting for the role, he is very frustrating, making Garfield's character a lot more pleasing to watch, but you don't receive enough of him to gain a lot of satisfaction. Justin Timberlake was a surprising highlight. A singer trying to get into acting? We've all heard that before (Crossroads, anyone?). But being in this playing the creator of Napster, he ironically captures the downloading main man who started a whole world of illegal activity. 

I think what is most disappointing is the direction. Fincher knows how to make a film look aesthetically pleasing. But because this was so focused on telling the story of the illusive Facebook machine, the narrative takes over leaving nothing for the imagination when it comes to the cinematography. The expectation of filters and dramatic lighting to create a beautiful scene is hidden. But again, this is because of the narrative. Facebook was created by a university students. They don't have interesting lighting - They're lucky enough to have electricity at all!

This film is interesting to watch. I would suggest seeing it because although vague, Facebook is a part of almost everyone's life, and watching how it became this global phenomenon is funny to see. There is humour dotted throughout, as well as friendship and success. It's a well rounded story; just not with the oomph you feel you should receive from the hype. Rather than seeing it through Zuckerberg's eyes, you watch it from an opponent's perspective. You see his flaws which add to the annoyance the film brings. But again, this makes it interesting. I could go round in circles, so I think I'll leave it there...
We all can relate to this:


  1. I guess you succumbed to the hype overkill after all. It's happened to me too. But not with this, although I did see it a while ago now.

    I really believe that The Social Network is one of the best films of the year and that's mostly because of Aaron Sorkin's script. I don't really think it needed a great deal of direction, Fincher just needed to provide the right environment for the words to strut their stuff. And I think that approach paid handsome dividends.

    Anyway, here's my review -

  2. Is it just me or Andrew Garfield looked a lot like Colin Farrell in Phone Booth, with the suit and all? With regards to the film, I saw it last weekend and it's actually a great "business" and "marketing" movie. Sean Parker may be out-of-this-world, but he does know a thing or two about internet businesses (Napster might have some problems, but Plaxo did well right?).

    - Dexter DeLima