An engaging and intelligent piece, adapted from the book The Accidental Billionaires by screenwriter Aaron Sorkin (A Few Good Men, West Wing) who weaves in emotional undertones for Jesse Eisenberg’s intoxicating version of Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg. Fast-paced and sharp, it also helps if you have an understanding of the internet and how Facebook revolutionised modern social networking. Sorkin’s screenplay skips between three timelines, looking at how Facebook became what it is today and the two court cases Zuckerberg is absorbed by.
Whether Zuckerberg stole the idea initially from fellow Harvard student or not, for me, is defunct. What’s interesting is how he got there by taking the idea and expanding it quickly, effectively and intelligently, there’s no doubting his talent and Eisenberg is incredibly impressive in bringing that to the big screen. The Social Network focuses on the complicated relationships of friendship, money, rebellion and temptation.
Eduardo Saverin, astutely portrayed by Andrew Garfield, is Zuckerberg’s roommate and financial backing from the beginning of Facebook. His struggle is the concern over doing it legitimately and keeping control of everything once Sean Parker (Justin Timberlake) arrives on the scene. Parker founded Napster and can see the potential in taking it to a world wide stage, Saverin feels Parker is losing touch with reality and begins to try and drag Zuckerberg with him.
Throughout there is a plethora of information being thrown at you, it feels like the movie for the geek generation, a celebration of rebellion, of technical prowess and taking an idea beyond the limit of what is achievable if you want it enough.
A sharp, edgy piece of work and a change of direction for David Fincher, the only similarity maybe being a Tyler Durden-type relationship between Parker and Zuckerberg, threatening the edges of reality. Throw in a Trent Reznor soundtrack and you’ve got the industrial foundation for a body of work that will satisfyingly impress you, more than you would expect for something that could have delved into self-glorification and pop culture. The Social Network is a lot more cleverer than that, much like the genius of Zuckerberg.
The Social Network is in UK cinemas now.