With over 16 million Facebook users in Canada, it’s no surprise that narcissism has led to websites, films and total pop culture domination. And if anyone was paying attention to the genius ramblings of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg during his time at Harvard in the early 2000s, there should be no surprise as to the influence of both his website and this movie.
The Social Network is the true story of the network creator (Jesse Eisenberg) and his transition from a trouble-making student to the youngest billionaire in recent North American history. Having started the site in response to the rejection of his former girlfriend (Rooney Mara), the film unwinds from an objective standpoint, beginning in one of the two lawsuits Zuckerberg eventually finds himself in.
From there, audiences are taken to the dorm rooms of Harvard, where the boy genius and his best friend (Andrew Garfield) go on to fund and create the ultimate social networking tool – but not without controversy, conflict and the ultimate lesson that power corrupts, and power combined with multi-millions corrupts absolutely. With the question “who invented Facebook” ringing clearly in the air, The Social Network addresses each layer of the story in a painfully realistic way, evoking the stress felt only in the midst of university exams or tax season – and that’s a good thing.
With Harvard alumni Natalie Portman dishing the secrets of the Harvard underbelly, realism was crucial. Unlike most biopics that tend to canonize their main characters, the film paints Zuckerberg in a realistic light, leaving it up to the audience to determine whether or not the 20-something computer god is the protagonist, antagonist or something in-between.
And he couldn’t have been better cast. Saved from a fate as “the next Michael Cera” (thanks to his turn in Adventureland), Jesse Eisenberg uniquely transforms himself into the most unlikeable, driven yet painfully awkward main character of 2010, embodying Mark Zuckerberg to the nth degree and showcasing his ability to take on a leading role not defined by teen angst and feel-good music. And while Canadians are undoubtedly proud to count the endearingly awkward Michael Cera among their ranks, it’s a bold and challenging role like this that’s crucial to preventing the title of “one trick pony”.
The unconventional approach to story-telling also assists in saving The Social Network from being a self-indulgent ode to technology. By casting the brilliant Armie Hammer as both Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss (or the “Winklevi” as Zuckerberg affectionately calls them), Fincher’s refusal to deign to typical filmmaking techniques simply adds to the uniqueness of the story. By making nearly every character both a victim and a villain, each are portrayed as the flawed human beings they are, proving that some stories have a black and white narrative, but real life does not.
It’s hard to believe that just over five years ago, some of us didn’t have Facebook let alone know anything about its creator. Now, a twenty-something billionaire has become a household name, tapped into our lives and topped the box office with his controversial tale. One can’t help but wonder whether The Social Network added to his mystique or revealed the man behind the curtain. Director David Fincher leaves it to you to decide.
Posted 1163 days ago by
In: New Movies
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