12A, 120 Minutes. Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Rooney Mara, Andrew Garfield, Brenda Song, Armie Hammer, Rashida Jones & Justin Timberlake. Writer: Aaron Sorkin. Director: David Fincher
A likeable movie that's a real status maker.
Love or hate Facebook, there is no denying that it has defined youth culture over the last decade. That guy with the canvas from MySpace must be sitting somewhere laughing at the Facebook jokes on 'Funny People' and whoever invented Bebo must be crying somewhere because Facebook kept refreshing while all other social networks were left as disregarded as pop ups.
So it was only a matter of time before they made a film about the website that practically everyone seems to be on. 'The Social Network' is the true story behind this social revolution. It takes us back to 2003, where Mark Zuckerberg, a student from Harvard university shuts down the campus' network with 22,000 hits on a 'FaceMash' site. A site which allows visitors to compares and rate girls photos as to who is more attractive (I can honestly say I've never been on this site). Following this controversy the Computer whiz-kid comes up with a way that friends in universities can contact each other and view their profiles etc (you know the rest, you do it every day).
Of course the rest is history. It's the start of 'The Facebook' revolution...uh hum, sorry 'Facebook', the founder of 'Napster' was right, it does sound better. If you think that you can't make much out of a movie from this except something real boring than join all the people who didn't think this Social Network would last because your wrong. The story of money, young entrepreneurs, jealousy and legal action is so interesting. Plus the drama is turned up so much that this film's psychological aspects could almost stand up next to the 'Wall Street' series.
Mark Zuckerberg may have 500 million friends a half dozen years later but his relationship status is listed as 'single' and his best friend (co-founder Eduardo Saverin) is suing him for 600 million dollars. The celebrity, billionaire may be making lists like Forbes but he's also making it onto the hate lists of several different people who all what a bit of credit for Facebook and more importantly a piece. Money talks and the battle over this is what makes this film speak. What makes it sing however is the relationships between all the characters and how it all changes with riches and fame for better or worse. Yet again these themes haven't been dealt with as well since Gordon Gekko ruled Wall Street, even if that film only came out last week.
The story of this film speaks for itself. Even if the real Facebook founders (who weren't involved with this picture) may argue in the press this film is the genuine article and what really went down makes for some real drama with little extra needed in ways of story telling. Still legendary 'Fight Club', 'Zodiac' director David Fincher knows the code and speaks the language of this story clearly well. The setting of the make or break dream world of California and the prestigious, aspirational beginnings of Boston's Harvard University make for perfect backdrops. While university man and top actor Kevin Spacey tutors brilliantly in the executive producers chair reuniting with Fincher after their killer collaboration on 'Se7en'.
This is all written and put together perfectly by Aaron Sorkin. The mind and pen behind the critically acclaimed 'The West Wing' (and deservedly so) and the commercially abstained 'Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip' (a great series that deserved more). This big three of Fincher, Spacey and Sorkin prove that even though this social network is a young man's game, the old hands behind the scenes are pulling the strings and computer cables. There's also a killer soundtrack from incredible Nine Inch Nails front man Trent Reznor who has provided the soundtrack for conflicted youth for different generations and now going all Eddie Vedder's 'Into The Wild' provides one for this Facebook generation.
It's the performances in this film however that confirm this story's acceptance and connection. Jesse Eisenberg (fresh off hitting big, killing rotting undead flesh in 'Zombieland') and Andrew Garfield deliver their best performances and there's great support from Brenda Song and Rashida Jones who do more than make up the friends numbers. Two guys in support really shine though and their played by on man, Armie Hammer. Arnie Ham's it up almost sounding like the Terminator as he believably and wonderfully plays both the Winklevoss twins (the days of bad edited spit screens are over), two prestigious Harvard alumni who are also rowers. Smart, strong, obnoxious and a joy to watch.
The real star of this show is a guy that very girl requests on Facebook, Justin Timberlake. The superstar of pop again shows he has acting chops. Playing the founder of 'Napster' Timberlake steals every scene. His confidence shining through as he plays the fast talking, charming but skeleton closet ridden Sean Parker. It's a ballsy move by singer Justin to play a guy that the music industry technically hates but Timberlake has the bones to do it. Timberlake really keeps the film going, holding it down, loading every scene with talent. His coolness shines every time he speaks, even if that's not so hard to do when your standing along Einsberg. A kid so damn geeky he makes Michael Cera look like Robert Downey Jnr.
So if you really want to see why your on 'Facebook' so much it's time to get offline on Friday night and actually go out and find out, because even this story is about more than a screen, keyboard and mouse. It's time to take control and enter and return to the real world, so you can see just what made this cultural phenomenon click. TIM DAVID HARVEY.