The Social Network is about the birth of one of the most influential (and addictive) online social platforms, Facebook. It is loosely based on the book, The Accidental Billionaires written by Ben Mezrich. Mark Zuckerberg (Eisenberg) is now a household name but back in 2003 he was just a student, like most of us, trying to navigate college in one piece. He wanted to do something significant – something that no one else had thought of.
The story begins with Erica Albright (Mara) breaking up with Zuckerberg. He then, in a slightly drunken state, rushes to his dorm room and alternates between blogging about his break up and eventually about the creation of Facemash.com. It receives so many hits that it crashes the Harvard network within 2 hours. This captures the attention of the Winklevoss twins (Armie Hammer) who pitch him an idea for The Harvard Connection (a dating site) that they want him to develop. A few months later, TheFacebook is launched and thus begins the legal battle between the twins and Zuckerberg as they believe he stole their idea. As TheFacebook becomes increasingly popular, it garners the attention of Sean Parker (Timberlake) who eventually gets involved and this leads to the alienation of Eduardo Saverin, one of the co-founders. So another legal battle commences.
David Fincher and Aaron Sorkin have created a fantastic movie that despite being about people sat in front of their computers, feels anything but sedentary. The dialogue is witty, sharp and fast and is not dumbed down which is great. They also somehow manage to keep you interested despite the amount of jargon thrown about. This film defies the usual “we have to like to the main character” field of thinking. Zuckerberg is the least likeable character in the movie and yet the movie seems fortified by his comments. You even feel sorry for him at times.
Fantastic acting all around. Eisenberg even looks like the real life Zuckerberg. Garfield really tapped into the role of the best friend who got left behind (he does remind me of Hayden Christensen especially in the way he talks sometimes).
Despite some obvious goofs (check out IMDB), this film defines our generation quite well and explains how Zuckerberg is some sort of genius for tapping into what the world wanted and giving us Facebook. Great cinematography. Definitely worth watching as it gives an interesting insight into Zuckerberg’s mind and it also has a great soundtrack thanks to Nine Inch Nails’ front-man Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross. One of the best dramas this year.
Facebook is now 500 million members strong, available in 27 countries and estimated to be worth £25 billion. Zuckerberg is the one of the world’s youngest billionaires but at a price.