Saturday, October 2, 2010

The Social Network

Social 6
Originally uploaded by heit007
Now, I will be the first to say that when I heard there was going to be a Facebook movie helmed by the writing of Aaron Sorkin and the directing talents of David Fincher I didn’t know wether to laugh or wait with anticipation. I chose the later – and it paid off. It’s been far too long since I’ve seen a really good movie in the theatre. I think the last time I left the theatre artistically charged, and aesthetically blissful was Inception - it’s been a pretty dry summer otherwise. Then came The Social Network.

The hardest challenge with The Social Network is the fact that these events all transpired starting only seven years ago. Most of us in our twenties remember accepting myspace, then slowly hearing about this other site that was catching on like fire called Facebook and slowly adopting to that as we were granted access and hearing all these rumblings of the young creative genius and his lawsuits – but most of us were too busy enjoying the site to care. Thanks to Aaron Sorkin, we care now.

Rather than turn The Social Network into a run of the mill rags to riches story, Sorkin, Fincher and the cast create a story of young people struggling to matter for a variety of reasons – Zuckerberg wants to fit into a world he feels outside of, Saverin wants to be a successful business man with his best friend, and Parker wants revenge on the older generation that brought him down. The Social Network is a tragedy of being careful what you wish for, and a beautiful commentary about the ongoing society we are all apart of that seeks instant gratification and has replaced physical contact for electronic voyeurism.

Jesse Eisenberg gives a performance worthy of recognition as Mark Zuckerberg. He’s keeps Zuckerberg on the precipice of intellectual headcase, ass, and confused, innocent savant. Never once can you blame Zuckerberg for the issues that surround him, but instead you see him as a victim to the tragedy he may have helped create.

However, the real revelation in the film is Justin Timberlake. I’m beginning to never care if Timberlake records another album as long as he continues to act. Timberlake plays Sean Parker, the genius madman behind Napster who latches on to Zuckerberg and if anything is the one who can be blamed not only for the radical success that Facebook enjoys, but the troubles that will eventually enfold Zuckerberg. Placing Timberlake in the role of the man who helped begin the death knoll on the pre-digital music industry is a brilliant and gutsy choice on the part of Fincher and I would be interested to know who approached who in the casting process.

The only problem The Social Network may suffer from is the mere fact that it is too current. Like Up In The Air last year, the issues being dealt with in this film are a part of the current American psyche and while for a few months they may be very relevant, the film will likely not fully be praised for the true beauty and message it holds until a decade or two has passed.

Director: David Fincher

Lawyer: Okay - no. You don't think I deserve your attention.
Mark: I think if your clients want to sit on my shoulders and call themselves tall, they have the right to give it a try - but there's no requirement that I enjoy sitting here listening to people lie. You have part of my attention - you have the minimum amount. The rest of my attention is back at the offices of Facebook, where my colleagues and I are doing things that no one in this room, including and especially your clients, are intellectually or creatively capable of doing. Did I adequately answer your condescending question?

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