Watching The Social Network, I could not but be reminded of a great film by the name of Citizen Kane. Now, you are asking yourself why it is that I am mentioning two films that really have nothing to do with each other. The answer is that The Social Network is this era‚(TM)s Citizen Kane. When looking at the two films, they both share numerous similarities including a tale of rise to power, crucial scenes in the films being told through different people‚(TM)s perspectives (you can never tell who is telling the truth, or who is being biased), and the main character themselves. With The Social Network, we get introduced to Mark Zuckerberg, a loner who no one can love because he tries to be better than anyone else to such the point, he might as well have a ‚~No Trespassing‚(TM) sign tattooed on his forehead. But while the film plays out, we want to be able to read in and understand this person much more because he is so mysterious. I think that is why The Social Network works so much: because we get fascinated by such a despicable human being.
Fincher is known for this. He can take subject matters that no one would really want to find either interesting or wanted to look in deep and makes them all of that plus more. While I have seen all of his previous films to this point, it is quite impressive how he was able to tell the story of Facebook in an entertaining and thought provoking way (even if most of this film if fictional). In comparison to Fincher‚(TM)s other films, including Se7en, The Game, Zodiac, and Fight Club, this is probably his most entertaining film in terms of being towards a much wider audience: the teenagers and early to mid twenties. This is a film for people that grew up with social networks and still use them like the majority of the world. This is a film that, while celebrates the accomplishment of connecting the entire world together, also tells a heart breaking tale of friendship, loyalty, and betrayal (and one we have been needing in cinema for quite some time).
Along with the direction, another crucial factor for how this film works is the acting of Jesse Eisenberg as Mark Zuckerberg. It is said that he had no contact with the real life counterpart for his character, but from what footage I have seen of the real Zuckerberg, Eisenberg nails the performance down. Yeah, he may not physically match how he looks, but in terms attitude, he seems to get it. Eisenberg makes Zuckerberg hateful, annoying, and completely deceitful, but at the same time, makes him interesting enough that you want to try and get to know him, while also knowing that you will have no accomplishment.
The other noteworthy ingredient for this has to be the contributions of Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross‚(TM)s score for this film. I really have no way to describe the music, other than it creates an atmosphere of isolation when you hear the somber notes from the main theme of the film ‚~Hand Covers Bruise‚(TM), the tone is set and the presence of Zuckerberg is felt. The entire score for this film is beyond impressive for Reznor, seeing as how this is his first complete solo album from Nine Inch Nails and How To Destroy Angels. Yet, he still keeps his style throughout every piece of this score that it could have been released as a NIN album and still work.
The Social Network is just a well made film. Everything in this film just clicks together so nicely from the story to the characters, that you can only hate this film if you are someone that demands this story to be completely true. That is the thing: this is a fictional account of what happened to create Facebook. This is all entertainment. And what entertainment this is.