There is something wrong with this film like it was put though a filter
of some type to remove any real humanity, unless that is the point. I'm
not a psychiatrist but Mark Zuckerberg as portrayed by Jesse Eisenberg
in the film seems to suffer from some kind of emotional agnosia. . .and
so does the film.
I was looking forward to this film and I had fun watching it, but as I thought about it afterwards, all I could remember were the squandered opportunities the film had to actually tell a moving story about friendship and loyalty that got wrecked by a cool business venture that became much too successful way too quickly.
Both Aaron Sorkin and David Fincher have both said The Social Network is not really about the "Facebook saga" with Sorkin even being so bold as to claim the basic story goes all the way back to the Greek dramatists. He has a point, so what do you think, would Aristophanes have been a MAC man or a PC user?
Truly, you won't find a better emotional core to build a drama around than the relationship between best friends Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg) and Eduardo Saverin (Andrew Garfield). That bromance is the heart of The Social Network and the film kept getting close to this emotional territory but then it would crash like an overloaded network and flit to other characters not important to the main story.
For example, the machinations of the Winklevoss twins are comic relief elevated to main story arc status. The self-righteous anger they feel and the lengths they go to seek revenge play like Margaret Dumont fighting with Groucho Marx.
It's very satisfying to see these overly entitled, great white hopes become dismayingly angry that things didn't go exactly the way they wanted them to for probably the first time in their lives. The Social Network develops a sharp edge to it in these scenes from their characters genuine feelings of an entitlement snatched away from them by a clearly undeserving cretin and the actors play it for all the high comedy they can.
But the main bromance is tested when the sexy, charming, persuasive entrepreneur Sean Parker (played to paranoid perfection by Justin Timberlake) comes in well over an hour into the film and starts finding ways to turn Facebook into a mega-money making operation all the while charming the pants off Mark Zuckerberg; much to Eduardo's sad eyed jealousy.
At this moment, The Social Network could become an ancient Greek drama in more ways than one.
But it doesn't. Instead, we just get more back and forth cutting between depositions and lawyer meetings, which are interesting and could have provided clues into the characters, but don't. These scenes were the biggest missed opportunities in the film.
Another squandered moment, why can't we see the scene where Zuckerberg goes into an investment banker's office in his bathrobe and slippers to deliver a Sean Parker bird-flip? Will Zuckerberg realize that making good on revenge for others is totally unsatisfying? And why was the tough talking Parker too big a wuss not to do it himself?
If the scene isn't going to advance the plot or inform about the characters, why have it?
Witnessing Parkers pathetic attempt at a put down of Andrew Garfield by offering him a check for $19,000 and then totally being made a fool of showed exactly what kind of man Saverin was and what kind of useless blow-hard Parker was.
As a secondary theme, the idea that money can ruin almost anything good like friendship, loyalty or love, even here, The Social Network does not convince. It seems that it was the fact that Facebook made tons of money that this story even has an ending that did not end in suicide or death. If Sorkin or Fincher sees anything ironic or even noteworthy in this, they sure don't indicate it in the film.
Remember, people would even have excused a horrible sociopathic bully like Alex DeLage in A Clockwork Orange if he had only made a billion dollars for someone.
As it is right now, The Social Network feels way too long and there is no emotional payoff. I didn't feel a sense of relief or fun or even sadness when the end credit titles listed what happened to the various characters.
The Social Network had glibness and a flow that only indicated a surface look at the deeper themes, but nothing else.
Fincher generally likes to make fast moving films because he seems to fear depth. He probably disagrees with the saying that "still waters run deep" and thinks that still waters are the ones that turn stagnant.
Well David, that's true, but stagnant water can still be deep water, and shallow water is never anything else.
The Social Network
Action / Biography / Drama
The Social Network
Action / Biography / Drama
On a fall night in 2003, Harvard undergrad and computer programming genius Mark Zuckerberg sits down at his computer and heatedly begins working on a new idea. In a fury of blogging and programming, what begins in his dorm room soon becomes a global social network and a revolution in communication. A mere six years and 500 million friends later, Mark Zuckerberg is the youngest billionaire in history... but for this entrepreneur, success leads to both personal and legal complications.
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February 23, 2012 at 02:15 AM