The Social Network

The Social Network (2010)
Aaron Sorkin (screenplay), Ben Mezrich (book)

The Plot:
Mark Zuckerberg is breaking up with his much prettier girlfriend at a bar near Cambridge, where he attends school at Harvard. We become immediately aware about how sensitive he is to social pressure, advantage, and making it in life. In fact, as they're breaking up, his girlfriend points out that it's an unhealthy obsession.

Does this sound like the inventor of Facebook to you? Obsesses with social and or relationship status?

Regardless of your bias towards Facebook, a social networking phenom that has captures the attentions of billions, changed the world an make Zuckerberg a rich and powerful man - this is a personal look at the formative years of its originator, Mark Zuckerberg.

After this opening scene we are led back to a stinky Harvard dorm room where Zuckerberg vents his frustration on a personal blog that he makes viewable for many other people. Then, some drinking ensues and he writes up a program that allows people to rate the "hotness" of Harvard women. This program, because so many people get into it on a Friday night, shuts down one of Harvard's main servers and gets Zuckerberg some press in the student newspaper.

As a rebellious programmer, there seems to be no bigger honor and after that, a lot of interesting offers come in. One of them is to create a site to help people socialize. Zuckerberg, a creative genius, takes this ball and runs with it.

I was sort of bored by all the press this movie got, and I felt that Fincher did a decent job, not a great job. What stood out though, like a beacon in the night, was Aaron Sorkin's brilliant writing. It was even better this time than his usual trademark wit displayed in Sports Night and West Wing. This was Sorkin enlightened. Some insiders say that Sorkin, a reclusive genius himself, could fully relate to Zuckerberg. I have read in interviews that Sorkin bristles at this "accusation". Whatever it was, I was laughing every five seconds because of how witty everyone was.

I was warned before I saw it about how heavy this was and how dark it made Zuckerberg appear. This made me not want to see it for a long time. But I found the movie to be quite optimistic. I felt that it embraced themes of modern day expansion, exploration and not having time to wait four years for a degree to start your business. I think Zuckerberg's foibles were approached by Fincher and Sorkin with a lot of care and he was made to look simply human, and actually likeable at points. 

The awards press for this movie was obnoxious. It's sad when the campaigning ruins an interesting movie. I don't think that Fincher did an amazing job on this. In Los Angeles there seems to be a flutter of press about all the wild techniques he used to direct it. I found it to be straight forward, which was good enough! 

Justin Timberlake critics will enjoy his appearance as the inventor of Napster who shepherds Facebook towards its millionth user. No complaints, he did a great job, period!