By Jordan Magrath
Whether you “Like” it or not, Facebook is today’s most influential website. Usually, a company knows it has made it big when its name becomes a verb in everyday English.
Acclaimed director David Fincher’s film “The Social Network” follows the creation and the controversy behind Facebook. Founder Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg) fights two legal battles throughout the story.
On one side, he is being attacked for stealing the idea of Facebook from fellow Harvard students Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss (twins played by Armie Hammer).
On the other side, he’s being accused of ripping off co-founder and now ex-best friend, Eduardo Saverin (Andrew Garfield).
Running side-by-side with the legal discussions is the actual invention and process of the social networking site. Here, viewers see just how much of a focused, albeit cold, genius Zuckerberg is.
This is Hollywood’s breakout film of the year. When Academy Award nominations come out in February, this one will be tagged with the most nominations, notably for acting and writing.
Although it is an ensemble cast, with everyone given the same amount of screen time, Eisenberg leads the way beautifully. As an actor, he shatters the awkward Michael Cera-like prototype that got him similarly famous. He shines as a dynamic personality in a character-rich plot. This should make him the youngest star to win Best Actor.
The supporting characters contribute to the drama tremendously. Relatively unknown actor Garfield adds a second dynamic character to the fold. Even Justin Timberlake notches a great performance as a cocky entrepreneur named Sean Parker. It is an ironic role, as he plays the founder of music-stealing Napster.
The characters were set up by Aaron Sorkin’s screenplay. Adapted from the book, “The Accidental Billionaires– The Founding of Facebook: The Tale of Sex, Money, Genius and Betrayal,” by Ben Mezrich, Sorkin created a film simultaneously rich with humor and raw emotion.
From the opening scene between Zuckerberg and his ex-girlfriend (Rooney Mara), the audience can see the beauty of the dialogue. The dialogue is crafted masterfully to showcase Zuckerberg’s personality, showing him both as a social outcast and coldhearted mastermind.
By the end, the film asserts itself as one of the saddest movies in an unusual way. It’s chillingly ironic that Facebook’s founder becomes virtually friendless.
“The Social Network” received plenty of publicity for portraying Zuckerberg as a kind of villain. Personally, I feel it is almost the opposite. He is portrayed negatively at times, but no one can deny his visionary goal and the time and effort spent to achieve this goal.
The only knock on this film may be its accuracy. Since the controversy began, it has been unclear what is true and what is false.
No one can deny the truth of its excellence. As a movie, more than a true story, this one moves outside the Facebook box, or “wall” if you will. I recommend that you see this movie. It’s more than just an overview of Facebook; it is the tale of the social networking revolution, as well as consumer- and sex-happy America.