A re-telling of how Mark Zuckerberg and Eduardo Saverin founded the social networking site, Facebook.
Once in a while there is a perfect marriage of director and writer…this is one of those cases. David Fincher is one of my all-time favorite directors having done films such as Se7en, Fight Club, Zodiac, and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button; writer Aaron Sorkin, who has penned television shows The West Wing and Sports Night. These two have very significant styles, and they sure do blend well together. If I was going to go more in-depth with this conversation, I would add a third with Trent Reznor’s score and how no other music could have fit a film like this so perfectly. I have always been a fan of Fincher, but I have to admit I was worried that he had sold himself short by doing a movie about Facebook. Once again, he proves me wrong, as this is honestly one of the best films of the year; right there with Inception and The American for me.
While the previews may not show it, this is pure Fincher. The Social Network is basically Fight Club without the mental illness. It chronicles Zuckerberg and Saverin’s friendship as they create something widely successful and slowly start to grow apart because of what they started (a la Narrator and Tyler Durden). The film seamlessly ventures back-and-forth between Saverin and the Winklevoss twins (both played by Armie Hammer) suing Zuckerberg and the creation of the initial website.
Fincher has never had a problem with a film not being entertaining or engaging, and this is easily one of the most fast-paced dramatic films I have seen in a while. There are no action scenes, no sex…just conversations. Sorkin has always had a way with dialogue and it seems as if he’s been saving his energy for this script, as in there is never one second that you lose interest. There are many scenes in this film where I cannot help but smile because the mixture of Fincher’s direction, Sorkin’s script, and Reznor’s score combine so perfectly, it is movie magic. The scenes that come to mind are when Zuckerberg & co. first release “Facesmash” and during their first meeting with Napster founder, Sean Parker.
Performances are perfect all around. I have never seen Jesse Eisenberg this good, he has truly transformed himself in this role. He is so believable in every instance, with the final scene of the film being ultimately heartbreaking. Andrew Garfield is fantastic as Eduardo Saverin, a man slowly watching his place in Facebook disappear. Justin Timberlake doesn’t show up for a good 45 minutes or so, but once he does, the film truly takes off both because of his character and due to Timberlake’s charismatic performance. Every time I see him on film, he impresses me…I just wish he’d give up that “music” career.
Please stop referring this film as “the Facebook movie,” because it is so much more deserving of something better. The Social Network is truly the Citizen Kane of our time. With astounding direction, a tight script, a phenomenal score, and a few Oscar-worthy performances, this film deserves your undivided attention. Pleas go see this film, there are very few like it anymore.
Rating: PG-13 for sexual content, drug and alcohol use and language
Runtime: 120 minutes