I think we may have seen one of those films that can define a generation in the broadest terms. Generation Y, my generation, is very forward thinking, ambitious and obsessed with having tunnel-vision. This film shows we are not above ruthless pursuit of our own ambition and anyone that cannot keep for whatever reason will not be lent a hand when its crunch time.
The story is a fictionalized account of the beginning of a little known social networking site that was once limited to college students in the northeast United States and eventually expanded internationally carrying 500 million users and counting. It started as a “hot or not” comparison of female students photos and turned into a mini-online biography page site. Three other entrepreneurial students to develop such a site approach Mark Zuckerberg; however, he has a better yet similar idea and runs with it. He called it “the Facebook.”
The triad of turmoil among Zuckerberg, his best friend Eduardo Saverin, and Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, identical twins and members of Harvard’s rowing team, and Divya Narendra. to claim the idea is the central conflict that plays out in a seamless transition between the dorm room beginnings, the rapid ascent of popularity, the conflicting ideals and the ultimate lawsuit hearings.
I never rush to see a drama, but from the first time I saw the trailer, something told me it would be special and not because of the subject matter, but its presentation. After the movie, I was very pleased with how the movie presented a potentially boring subject… website development and business structuring. Those two are not boring inherently, however, some people do not care to know. THE SOCIAL NETWORK moves fast as the Facebook explosion spread with some well told storytelling using great acting and a great deal of relevancy. I was smiling and nodding my head at the idea behind the site concept, the relationship status, including a scene that many people I know personally will know all too well, and the way everything came together for the site and how the characters personal relationships fell apart.
Jesse Eisenberg plays Mark Zuckerberg as either a likable yet misunderstood social misfit or genius, or a cold, callous and calculating sociopath and megalomaniac. It is debatable as to which way you want to take that performance, yet we can agree that I think an Oscar nod is in the future. Zuckerberg walks the line of madness and crazy with equal doses of ambition, and appears to not to concern about people trailing behind. One of those people was his former best friend Eduardo, played by Andrew Garfield, whom also innovative and forward thinking, but not totally subscribed to the rapid pace of the social network’s development. Enter Sean Parker (Justin Timberlake), the founder of Napster (remember that?), who is full force ahead about exploding a good idea into a great revenue-generating entity. At this point, their lives move into the future like a bullet.
The other performances are all very well done, especially by the rowing twins. I also loved the dialogue, which is a sign of great writing with great delivery from the actors. It came off very well and helps move the story at a rapid pace.
The heart of the movie however, at the center of this revolution and gaining more “friends” than one person could possibly handle, it was great to see how much it hurts to lose one or two good friends. Imagine finding out you lost a Facebook friendship or Twitter following even from someone close to you, and then it was for real… It might hurt, but this film shows the show must go on.
THE SOCIAL NETWORK has great storytelling and great acting, however why should I see it again? I look at movies in the sense of potentially adding it to my extensive DVD library. The hang up is that once you know the story, you know the story. It reminded me of how William Shakespeare told his version about the life of Julius Caesar… based on real events but embellished with parts of drama. Now that we know, what will make me want to know it again? I ran into the same issue when I saw PRECIOUS. That does not mean it is not a good movie, in fact this is a great film. It is just not going to warrant repeat viewings from some people.
Someone will like or love the film enough to see it multiple times and for good reason. The story is engrossing, it is funny, tense, heartbreaking, interesting, incredible, over the top, and a vivid reminder that these people are my age and they changed the world.
If you are in your twenties right now, the main characters much like you, your friends and we are all deciding if the plans we have for ourselves are compatible with our current social circles and our daily lives. Not everyone will stick around and we will come across many people who are so-called friends, but if we lose that one good friend, it could haunt everything you do from that point forward. That is a lesson we can learn from THE SOCIAL NETWORK.
I guess repeat viewership does not affect overall quality of an impacting commentary on the human condition.
C H A M P
S T A T U S !!!!!