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When we think of a biopic, we usually think of a film that captures a triumphant moment in history when an individual has had a significant influence. Although David Fincher's The Social Network captures a significant moment in history when Mark Zuckerberg created one of the most influential and popular entities of the 21st century, this film is anything but a celebration. For Fincher, it seems the creation of Facebook shouldn't be documented as an account of a brilliant genius but rather a egotistical genius who created the famous social media from the most shallowest motivations.
From the opening five minutes, Aaron Sorkin's script does an incredible job at revealing the psyche of Zuckerberg. The brilliance of this opening scene is that perfectly captures the fundamentals of this character within the space of five minutes. In having a conversation with his girlfriend, Zuckerberg's condescending nature, egotism and awkward social skills are painfully apparent. Essentially, he's highly narcissistic and wants to be recognized or considered significant; however, Zuckerberg's crucial flaw is that he believes that being significant will make girls more interested in him but ironically, it's this emphasis on being significant/narcissistic that will lead to only more loneliness. Evident from the way that Sorkin has created Zuckerberg, this is anything but a celebration of brilliance, but rather a study in the traits of toxic masculinity such as narcissism, pride and misogyny.
In one of the most disturbing scenes of the film, Zuckerberg is dumped by his girlfriend when it becomes obviously apparent that he is a grade A asshole and of course, Zuckerberg reacts in a way that seems logical for a male who shares parallels to the traits of toxic masculinity; he reacts by demeaning the female who has taken a shot at his pride. Basically, he creates a humiliating blog post about his ex and a website that compares the 'hotness' of women to farm animals as some weird, misogynist revenge tactic for his girlfriend breaking up with him. Not only is this disturbing because it shows the demeaning power of social media but also that one of the most important tools of the 21st century was born out of a night of misogyny. It's also raising the important point of how we view these so called 'brilliant' men. Yes, Zuckerberg is intellectually brilliant but his motivations are misogynistic and shallow. In typical Fincher fashion, The Social Network isn't your typical celebratory biopic, it's a film that rather investigate character qualities that are dark, subversive and unlikable.
From a technical standpoint, there's so much to marvel about The Social Network. It could be the most perfect synchronization between script, editing and music. The fast cut editing utilized by Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall is perfect for handling Sorkin's typical rapid-fire dialogue. in the scene mentioned above when Zuckerberg is creating a site that eventually crashes the Harvard system, the use of internal monologue provides the audience with insight to frantic and chaotic mind of a genius. As the frantic dialogue is moving at a rapid pace to capture the quickness of Zuckerberg's intelligence, the editing is just as frantic as the internal dialogue; constantly switching between Zuckerberg's monitor, various dorms rooms and a fraternity party while all being synced to Trent Renzor and Atticus Ross' "In Motion." Despite being heavy on dialogue, the movie is never boring due to the editing as Sorkin's script constantly switches between three different timelines. As the title of Renzor and Ross' track suggests, everything in this film is constantly in motion. Its also refreshing see the use of fast cut editing utilized in an intelligent manner rather than how its typically used in generic action films.
In a majority of Fincher films, the director is always subversive, challenging genre conventions and The Social Network is no exception. When we think of films that involve American colleges and fraternities, we usually think of feel good superficial comedies that romanticize college life and its clear Fincher is deconstructing these genre conventions by uses his dark aesthetic in a genre that is traditionally optimistic and romanticized. Fincher, a director known for his disturbing thrillers such as Seven and Zodiac, uses the exact same aesthetic he would in those thrillers for The Social Network. Virtually every shot -- from the dorms, to the toilets, to basically any internal shot within the college -- is covered within a gloomy and disturbing palette. The aesthetic choice makes perfect sense as Fincher isn't representing college life as a positive and romanticized notion but rather a disturbing area riddled with toxic masculinity, narcissism and misogyny. Besides the aesthetics, the use of music from Trent Renzor and Atticus Ross greatly contributes to the overall atmosphere. Not only do they somehow translate through music the process of programming and the feeling of an idea coming to fruition ("Intriguing Possibilities") but also create a sound that is subtly disturbing and music that perfectly matches the visual aesthetic.
From the script, to the characters, actors, music, editing and direction, virtually all aspects of The Social Network are brilliant. Despite this, the fundamental thing that makes The Social Network live on as a classic is that at the heart of the narrative is a story of greed. In many ways, it's a 21st century adaptation of Citizen Kane as just like Charles Kane, Mark Zuckerberg rises to fame and fortune but loses everything along the way, including the only friend that cared for him. In the end, Zuckerberg doesn't have many redeeming features besides a minimal sense of remorse and Fincher ends on an ambiguous note. As we see during the final scene, Zuckerberg sends a friend request to his previous girlfriend but the film ends before we see if the friend request is accepted. As the credits roll, the audience are left to ponder whether or not Zuckerberg deserves another chance to rectify his past relationship. I feel like Fincher would take the cynical route but for a more optimistic person like myself, hopefully Zuckerberg can put his ego and pride aside and attempt to be a decent person.
Very few films produced in the 21st Century are able to incisively comment on how technology has effected our modern world and very few biopics manage to use their subject to make a larger statement. The Social Network manages to do both of these things as it tells an oddly compelling story in just two hours and shows you a highly unsympathetic lead who is representative of all that is wrong with our modern society and yet is very watchable. The sheer scope and ambition of the film should be enough to impress audiences but the screenplay is also smart, witty and informative and the director never strays too far from the central story while displaying an obsessive attention to detail.
Mark Zuckerberg, Jesse Eisenberg, is left by his girlfriend Erica Albright, Rooney Mara, which prompts him to create a website Facemash that allows fellow angry male Harvard students to rank girls based on their level of attractiveness. After this website is successful he is approached by wealthy Harvard students and rowers, Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, Armie Hammer, to produce a social networking website for them. He creates a website on his own that carries out very similar functions to what the Winklevoss's website would have and the website's success expands with the introduction of Sean Parker, Justin Timberlake, as an investor. The Winklevosses decide to sue for theft of intellectual property but by this time Zuckerberg is so wealthy and powerful that they have no chance of really winning the lawsuit and simply receive a large settlement.
Most films that focus on extremely wealthy, privileged people fighting over millions of dollars that they don't really need feel curiously detached from the real world and as though they have a lack of stakes. This film never makes us feel this way as despite despising almost all of the characters we can see why each of them would have motives to do what they do and how their upbringings have effected their attitudes towards the case. Up until the final moments of the film Zuckerberg appears to be an irredeemable human being as he has a toxic obsession with his ex-girlfriend driven more by the desire to control her than any genuine love or desire. As we watch him sit and wait for contact that is never going to come from her we see just how hopeless he is despite how far he has risen while at the same time realizing that the network he has created is so insidious that even a woman who wants nothing to do with him is wrapped up in it. The film feels like more of a satire or even a tragedy than an inspirational film or a docudrama and it benefits from it's lack of sentimentality because it is hard to see the good in the characters we witness.
The film is also paced expertly as we make huge leaps forward in time and yet never feel that we have lost anything or are very confused. Part of this may be that the main character is inert and doesn't really change despite his attainment of status and power but the director is also careful to introduce us to new situations slowly and with care. Interspersed between the scenes that explain what is occurring in real time we see moments from the negotiations between the Winklevosses and Zuckerberg where we realize yet again just how shallow and materialistic these men are while being entertained by it. The audience never loses focus because the film is always providing you with some new detail to obsess over or some strangely funny scene that doubles as a criticism of capitalism or narcissism present on social media platforms.
Looking back nine years later it is incredible how much this film predicted as we witness a social platform that has largely slipped out of public favor insinuate itself into the lives of people in a way that is dangerous. Obviously what we have recently learned about Facebook and how willing they are to look into the personal affairs of their users we realize that this film was correct in predicting that a website created by a man as emotionally unstable as Zuckerberg should not serve as the primary source of communication for people.
I love a good biographical movie and this is not too shabby. Jesse Eisenberg does a wonderful portrayal of an anti-social super nerd by the name of Mark Zuckerberg. One thing I will say is that this movie is much more educational than I would expect in regards to the history of Facebook. It is entertaining to see how the characters progress in the movie. It is a pretty standard film that I won't necessarily recommend watching but also definitely not complaining about seeing in the first place. Not too memorable overall.
O filme é bom, conta a história do Facebook, porém é meio confuso.
This is a great film but type-cast Jesse Eisenberg for eternity.
Jesse Eisenberg and Andrew Garfield deliever great performances that drive this film. Its an interesting story about the founding of Facebook but thats about it.
Eisenberg and Garfield are slow dancing in this speedily surfed world, no one is streaming live and the highlight is loosing the art of the game.
The Social Network
Fincher is dancing. And boy what a dance this is. So flamboyant and confident in the jibber jabber-ish of the tech world. Yes, this is how it would sound like to others. But this is not narrated by some average writer, Aaron Sorkin, the game changer of the screenplay writing, is in charge of these real life characters. And with director, David Fincher, the time jumps from back and forth to weave out an engaging drama in their tech-y mundane world, that actually thrives on the dorm room, unofficial chats rather than online ones or even the court trials. Your friends are thrown out like some bizarre avant garde idea while creating a website.
The stabbing in the back comes involuntarily and the exhilaration a part of the game, but amidst this game of sacrifice- not of their own but other's, elimination is a way to success, breathes the film, or so it seems on the surface- the romance to make us groove with the momentum of these characters is lacked out by keeping them distant and dry of emotions. Yes, it is practically an apt depiction, but it should have been more unbiased to make us fall for this unknown backstage world.
Staring arrogantly with no empathy in his face, Jesse Eisenberg deserves the respect that he pursues so blindingly in the film. Call me childish, but I was drawn to Andrew Garfield's victimized character. In a virtually statistical world, where there is nothing or no one to actually root for, it is comforting to see Garfield broken and humanized in his porsche black suit. On the other hand, Justin Timberlake comes off disappointing where these major league players are hitting home run after home run, this is the kind of The Social Network Fincher wants you to log into, so give him your password, he is not a fraud.
Meh.. watched it only to hear the soundtrack.
Great film. Screenplay was incredible and yeah, I recommend this
David Fincher y Aaron Sorkin no solo regala una historia increible e inteligente en escritura, sino que además nos da una fascinante puesta en escena con una de las historias biograficas más interesantes de los ultimos tiempos, Fincher sin duda da clases de narracion cinematografica en The social network y no solo con eso alardea de su gran talento como director demostrando su capacidad en puesta en escena.