I was nitpicking here but if there had to be one thing I don’t like about “The Social Network” is Justin Timberlake. This web comic captures my mood perfectly. Now, not that Justin is a downright terrible. He was, in fact, quite good. After all, I really think his character in this film mimics his real-life character thus, branded his performance as below mediocre actually doesn’t do him any justice. It was just, that this film being handled by David Fincher, with great scores by Trent Reznor, amazing performances from Jessie Eissenberg and Andrew Garfield, he was a bit out of place and out of pace. And that’s perhaps, the only thing I don’t like from this film.
Based on the book, “The Accidental Billionaires,” this film depicts the claim to fame from an Harvard drop-out that goes out on a rampage to create a website that currently valued at 30 billion U.S. dollars and with five hundred millions registered users. You don’t read this review on the Internet without at least learns about it. As with the book, “The Social Network” takes Eduardo Saverin’s views during his stint as the co-founder and first CFO of Facebook. It narrated in a sort-of flashback depicting Mark Zuckerberg in his Harvard days in 2003 while he was seated opposite to Saverin during a legal dispute between the two. Aside from the occasional jump back-and-forth, the film is fairly straightforward and it shows us how Zuckerberg (and Saverin) came into Facebook, and eventually their disagreement that led to the aforementioned legal dispute.
My initial thought when the film is announced was, naturally, skeptic. After all, what could be interesting from a bunch of dudes sitting in front of computers and typing codes? I mean, I did that for living and the only excitement I had was when someone spilled their coffee unto their machine. And let’s not hope that it wasn’t my machine. Alas, hand it to Fincher to craft scenes. From the opening scenes itself, when Zuckerberg creates “facemash.com,” it was already manic and full of excitement. Any CS students and most self-proclaimed computer geek would be smiling with recognition when Eissenberg as Zuckerberg mashes codes while simultaneously voice-overed his thoughts. My wife doesn’t understand any of its lingo but she was as equally enamored as me when the camera rapidly switches to Zuckerberg, computer, keyboards, and beer. It was that good. The ball keeps rolling afterward and kept alive by Andrew Garfield’s performance (watch him next on Spider-Man reboot) and Jessie Eissenberg drawn and probably dead-on portrayal of the man behind Facebook’s genius prowess, or his ruthlessness, or his shrewdness. Your choice.
Welcome to the nerd world. On its very simplest premise, this film bade you just that and for most, heck, I’d say all of its running time, it delivers. Even without fist-fights or gun-cocking duels, this film is beaming with excitement and at the height of it, when Saverin confronts Zuckerberg for the last time, I think it was a scene worthy to be remembered as one of the best climax scene of the year. With the stellar performance from its casts, story that kept you hooked, and the interesting characters that filled this film, it is the drama that is going to please and paid the dues for the hype that precedes it. Some critics were complaining about the lack of prominent female characters in this film. I’d say they were nitpicking. I mean, so what if there aren’t any? In the real world, I could name several prominent names in the tech world without a moment of thinking and could only came up with only two women. One of them is Carol Bartz the current CEO of Yahoo! and if you read enough tech news, you’d compelled to agree that she wasn’t exactly known for her excellence.
As an afterthought, even if this film based on a real event and perhaps portraying Zuckerberg as let’s say, less than a saint (as we all are), the events are naturally, tampered in order to enhanced its entertainment value. But if you are at least a bit curious of what made a man the youngest billionaire in the world, or if you’re a (former) CS student, see this film and I see no reason for you to not feel entertained.
My rating: ***1/2 / **** One of my best in 2010. The Best Picture Oscar nomination for this film is I think, a lock. There’s a significant probability that this film going to have a four stars rating when I had my chance to see it again.