Film Reviews

The Social Network: Behind the Scenes of Facebook

Overall: 6/10

Disclaimer: I am by no means a film critic and everything I say is my subjective opinion.

The Social Network is a 2010 film about the development of the social media platform Facebook. It follows the journey of the founder Mark Zuckerberg, who goes on to be the world’s youngest billionaire. I understand that this means I’m 7 years late, but I only just watched the film, so hey, sue me.

The film starts off with Zuckerberg (played by Jesse Eisenberg) on a date with Erica Alright (played by Rooney Mara). He is instantly portrayed as an obvious genius, however slightly alienated by social situations. He gets dumped by his girlfriend and goes back to his dorm, angry and frustrated. After a few beers and venting his anger on his blog “zuckonit”, he gets the idea of creating a website where you rate girls based on attractiveness from all of the colleges around Harvard (the university he attends). He is shown to be an incredible hacker, getting into the databases of various different sites and acquiring these photos of college girls one way or another. He nearly finishes the website, but can’t complete it without an important algorithm from Eduardo Saverin (played by Andrew Garfield). Eduardo is instantly set up and shown to be one of Zuckerberg’s closest friends.

The film develops and Facebook gets bigger and bigger and eventually, conflict arises between various parties, being Zuckerberg, his previous closest (and only) friend Saverin and two twin brothers who claim Facebook was their idea and are attempting to sue Zuckerberg. The film ends with Zuckerberg as the most successful and youngest CEO in the world, sitting in an office with his business card, which reads “I’m CEO, B*itch”. He is incredibly wealthy and has settled all his lawsuits, but is, in the end, alone.

The acting in this film is by no means below par, all the actors performed extremely well (in my opinion anyway). Eisenberg portrayed Zuckerberg as a somewhat alienated genius, who would rather spend their time with a couple lines of code rather than another person, but throughout the films shows deep bouts of emotion, especially during the last scene when he is shown sending a friend request to Erica. Andrew Garfield portrayed Saverin beautifully, playing him out as a victim and being betrayed by his own company.

Zuckerberg is portrayed as rather devious at times, and it made me question the factual accurateness of the film. Could one of Silicon Valley’s most successful be that dishonourable? It turns out that isn’t the case. The film is, at its core, fiction. Saverin is portrayed to be a victim of an abhorrent betrayal, when in reality that isn’t the case. The filmmakers may have felt that the real plot line was not sufficient and some further dramatisation was needed, which I think was a fair decision.

Overall I would say I enjoyed the film, it is well put together and executed with a simple concept. It allows viewers to peek behind the scenes of the famous social network that most of us use every single day. It shows the development of not only the characters but the platform that we have all grown to love, the development of it right from the core.

-K

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