I went to a free screening of The Social Network and was thrilled to finally go and see it after hearing some rave reviews. Being that Facebook has become a huge part of popular culture, it would make sense to see how it all began and it is quite the story.
The film begins with Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg) dealing with two lawsuits regarding his creation, Facebook. It then flashes back to where the story began. Zuckerberg, a Harvard undergrad during 2003, is dumped abruptly by his girlfriend (Rooney Mara). He storms back to his dorm and begins blogging and creating a website in which males at Harvard can rate the female students based on their looks. This gives Zuckerberg notoriety around campus and he is then approached by the Winklevoss twins (Armie Hammer), who are members of a prestigious final club, to work on a website they want to create. Harvard Connection is where Harvard students can create profiles online and interact with each other. He tells them to count him in and goes back to his dorm where he tells his best friend, Eduardo Saverin (Andrew Garfield) that he wants to create a social networking website for Harvard students. He asks Saverin for the startup money and to be his partner.
This is essentially the beginning of Facebook or rather The Facebook until Sean Parker (Justin Timberlake) of Napster fame comes in to bring in the connections and suggests to Zuckerberg to drop the “The” in Facebook. Tension runs between Parker and Saverin and ultimately Parker and Zuckerberg edge out Saverin from the company. Zuckerberg is hit with lawsuits from the Winklevoss twins for stealing their idea and from Saverin who was misled into signing a contract that would leave him with nothing.
The Social Network runs two hours long, at times it feels like it, at others you’re too busy to notice while Zuckerberg is giving some snarky comment or your feeling really sorry for Eduardo. The real Zuckerberg said many things were embellished which may be true, but the speed in which Facebook grew is accurate. I personally remember receiving a link to Facebook in 2003 not long after its inception and it just kept on growing. However, I doubt Zuckerberg is hurting much considering he’s the youngest billionaire in the world.
Eisenberg was excellent as Mark Zuckerberg and the surprise outstanding performance came from Garfield as Eduardo Saverin. I don’t think anyone could have done a better job than he did. I am now looking forward to seeing him as the new Spidey. Timberlake as Sean Parker, well it could have been worse, but definitely had room for improvement. He would not have been my first, second or even third choice for the part. Yes, he is trying to make a break into film with his indie ventures, but he’s more talented as a musician than as an actor. The Mickey Mouse Club can only take you so far.
There is a lot of Oscar buzz on this film, but I’m not sure I would praise it to that caliber. It really is a fantastic movie and film guru’s or anyone interested in the story of Facebook or a story of invention should check out The Social Network. It will leave you debating with pals on what could have been done differently to change the end result for at least a couple of days.