Wednesday, October 06, 2010

"Every creation story needs a devil."

The Social Network

I loved The Social Network. When I first heard that someone was making a movie about Mark Zuckerberg, I was slightly interested. But then I found out that the movie would be directed by David Fincher (a mastermind), and I could not wait. And then I found out that the movie would be written by Aaron Sorkin (creator of The West Wing!), and I wet myself.

Much has been written about how much of The Social Network is real and how much is fictional. We know that the details of the lawsuits are real. We know that the people are real. We don't know if how they act is entirely real. But you know what? I don't really care. This movie draws us in and holds our attention until the last frame. Sorkin's laser-like script is so cutting, so sharp, so funny, and so disturbing. And Fincher's shots and editing decisions add to the intrigue, creating a multi-layered story of greed and vengeance and entrepreneurialism and backstabbing and nerdery. (Oh, I say it's a word.)

The Social Network may well prove to be a very important film, but for now, I just really enjoyed it. Besides Sorkin's script, most of the greatness of the film can be attributed to the acting. Jesse Eisenberg really captures a version of Zuckerberg that is smart and sarcastic, petty and awkward. And at times I found msyelf oddly sympathetic to his plight in the film. Justin Timberlake really shines as Sean Parker, founder of Napster and bug in Zuckerberg's pants. We all know how talented Timberlake is (just watch him on SNL), but he really succeeds in making Parker the most pathetic of characters. But for me the real scene-stealer is Andrew Garfield, who plays Eduardo Saverin, Zuckerberg's former best friend and the co-founder of Facebook. Saverin is the real "hero" (if this movie has one), and Garfield captures all the angst and frustration of someone jilted out of millions. We don't feel too sorry for the real Saverin (since he won a huge settlement), but in the film, Garfield nails this performance. I think he should be nominated for an Best Supporting Actor Oscar.

And that will be one of many Oscar nominations The Social Network will get. And Aaron Sorkin will win. The Social Network is immensely entertaining and undeniably captivating.


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