The Facebook movie: click ‘I like’

2010-11-08 00:00

I LIKED this movie (pun intended).

So I’ll cut to the chase: go and watch this movie. For two reasons: firstly, because if you’re a user on Facebook, you’d be interested to know how it all began.

Secondly, it’s just a great film. Director David Fincher (Se7en, Fight Club) and screenplay writer Aaron Sorkin have captured some important moments which offer a sweeping look at this generation.

The opening minutes pull no punches as to how the film is going to portray Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg) as he converses with his girlfriend over a beer: he’s unlikeable, angry and socially inept.

She dumps him, and he goes back to his dorm where he gets drunk and sets up a website called Facemash — comparing the “hotness of girls on campus”.

From here we’re thrown back and forth between various lawsuits and the sequence of events leading to what would become facebook.com.

The rest of the story plays out among the lawsuits, of which the main ones come from the Winklevoss twins, Cameron and Tyler (played by Armie Hammer, blended with body double Josh Pence, in a nifty feat of digital technology) and Mark’s best friend Eduardo Saverin (Andrew Garfield), the latter more integral to the story than the former.

There’s also a convincing performance from Justin Timberlake as the charismatic Sean Parker, the Faustian founder of Napster, who lures Zuckerberg to Silicon Valley.

The founding of Facebook has a variety of anecdotal myths and facts around it, but perhaps the most entertaining read is Ben Mezrich’s novel The Accidental Billionaires, upon which this film is based.

Where the novel plots the sequence of events around Facebook’s origins, the film hops forward and backwards in time.

Both, however, are centralised around the theme of betrayal and a group of power-hungry student types.

The Social Network is a well-crafted thriller about the youngest billionaire in the world today.

Funny though — as one reviewer put it, the world’s most popular means of connecting was founded by someone with no ability, or willingness, to connect. ****

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