14 October 2010

Review: The Social Network

Urban: The Zeitgeist that everyone remembers, told in a smart way and directed with all of the momentousness that it deserves.

Urban: He's not a bad guy. Even though this film literally has to tell us this, it's still hard to walk away from this movie feeling this way. It's probably because it is largely based upon The Accidental Billionaires, a book told from the perspective of Eduardo Saverin, the Facebook founder who was pushed out of the business by Mark Zukcerberg. Despite this, writer Aaron Sorkin and Director David Fincher do an excellent job of creating the most realized film of recent memory. By this I simply mean to say that the film manages to avoid any reference to any other film/cultural epoch/war story. It doesn't stand for anything but itself, which (and I liked these films): W., The Hurt Locker, Avatar, all were unable to do, as they were somehow all pulled into larger stories within political/social groups.

In order to do so, the film focuses on it's self referential qualities. In many ways, the term "friend", with all of the connotations that it carries within Facebook, is the prism through which any, and especially this, social network must be viewed. The beauty of the term on the website and within this film is that it carries no distinction; between frenemy and best friend or being used as a verb or an adjective.

A friend is a person that you know, that you don't necessarily keep in touch with regularly due to the presiding social strata (Winklevoss Twins). A friend could also be someone you have a crush on, no matter how destructive of an influence that they are (Sean Parker, Christy Lee) A friend, as the movie also shows us, can be a person with whom you have serious disagreements (Eduardo Saverin). Nowhere is this rendered more artfully than in the courtroom deposition sequences, when Saverin and Zuckerberg speak to each other through their lawyers even though they are sitting across the table from one another - their lawyers are functioning as their facebook wall - they are communicating, but not on the level that they are capable of attaining.

Even further, the film's attention to detail with regard to these issues can also be seen in the amount of parallels that the story contains. This is apparent not only in some of the symmetrical life experiences that Saverin and Zuckerberg face, but also within the way that each storyline that is produced is completed within the course of the film. I know that some reviews noted that the crew racing scene in England seemed to be 'extra', but I contend that this scene functioned beautifully to construct the logical completion of the Sean Parker upward arc within the film, while also tying up the plot-line regarding the Winklevi.

As a sort of an aside, the Trent Reznor score really punctuates the film without ever taking away from it. He might have a future in the music business.

When viewed in total, the film was a complete success at telling a momentous story in a beautiful way. For doing so, the film will become a future classic.

Urban: Strongly Recommended

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