By Jack Rico
Although ‘The Social Network‘ isn’t a masterpiece, this film will undoubtedly be the film that defines our generation. Each decade had a film that captured the zeitgeist of the times such as ‘Saturday Night Fever‘ in the 70’s, ‘The Breakfast Club‘ in the 80’s and ‘Reality Bites‘ in the 90’s. ‘The Social Network’, based on the origins of Facebook.com, the popular global social network, possesses clever dialogue, entertaining performances, and a captivating and inspiring story that draws you in. Director David Fincher (The Curious Case of Benajmin Button, Fight Club, Panic Room) and writer Aaron Sorkin‘s brilliant script have created a biopic that will easily be nominated for several Oscars including Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Picture.
The plot is about the origins of Facebook, through conflicting viewpoints of two of the most intelligent young people who claim to have been there at the moment of its conception – Mark Zuckerberg and the Brazilian financier Eduardo Saverin. The result is a drama full of creation and destruction, intentionally avoiding having a single point of view. The characters are Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg), the brilliant Harvard student who designed a site that seemed to redefine the social fabric of our days overnight, Eduardo Saverin (Andrew Garfield), who used to be the best friend of Zuckerberg and provided the money to start the new company, the founder of Napster, Sean Parker (Justin Timberlake), who led Facebook to venture capitalists in Silicon Valley, and the Winklevoss twins (Armie Hammer) who claim that their idea was stolen are suing Zuckerberg for their intellectual property. But the chaos of creation leads to conflicting passions about how it all happened and who deserves recognition for what is clearly is the most important idea of the century. Tensions reign that divides friends and unleash legal action.
I must say that the real magic of the film does not come from the actors but from Fincher and screenwriter Sorkin. Fincher’s direction is refreshingly consistent. He has always been obsessed with antisocial and rebellious characters, but now, in mid-career, he has become more subtle, more eloquent in their arcs, both comic and tragic. Sorkin on the other hand, is a master of the written word. His script is smart, witty and absorbing. He made an impressive amount of research to get to the core of the story. He read legal statements, court documents, which offered the best possible material. The only thing that could be a detriment to the film is that it might have felt long in some parts.
Among the performances, actor Armie Hammer impressed. His role was a tough one. He played the Winklevoss twins – by himself (courtesy of special effects). Two of the best lines in the film, and perhaps of the year, were delivered by him. Another one that stands out is Jesse Eisenberg, who has undoubtedly done the best work of his career. His role as Zuckerberg – full of awkward moments, quick and extended philosophical monologues – was fierce, sad and brave. Basically, he gave us a soup of personalities and emotions that ultimately proved difficult to decipher – was Zuckerberg a hero or a villain?
Many are curious to know how things went with Justin Timberlake. I say this with all sincerity, he wasn’t so bad. The role fit him like a glove. His performance did not cause any kind of hysteria in the theater I saw it in – unlike his musical performances. His performance is modest at best, nothing to criticize.
Our new Spider-Man, Andrew Garfield, who played Eduardo Saverin, shows that has the acting chops to become an excellent actor for years to come.
I’m sure you’ll like ‘The Social Network’. Why? Because it moves quickly, no scene is wasted, the theme is current and compelling, the performances are magnetic and riveting and the dialogue is engrossing and unforgettable. What more do you want from a film!
Rated: PG-13 for sexual content, drug and alcohol use and language.
Release Date: 2010-10-01
Screenplay: Aaron Sorkin, Ben Mezrich
Official Website: http://www.thesocialnetwork-movie.com/