As long as you don’t buy in to everything “The Social Network” tells you, David Fincher’s 2010 film is actually a compelling and engrossing exploration of the evolution of socializing through computers and how it’s shaped and defined our new generation turning us in to passive aggressive bullies and thugs who seek one another out through text and HTML code. David Fincher’s film is not perfect. It’s sexist, sensationalist, and turns an internet revolution in to a mere game of revenge from a lovelorn geek. But for its faults, “The Social Network” is a truly gripping and entertaining courtroom drama about the construction of Facebook, and how it managed to affect every single person who ever came in to contact with Mark Zuckerberg. He’s depicted as a narcissistic social outcast who brought down the walls of class, superficiality and exclusivity by allowing people the advent of elitism by virtue of distance that could allow anyone from the gorgeous woman to the awkward nerd to become the kings of their own personal domains.
Through this Zuckerberg was able to topple the fads of the generation like MySpace and Friendster by offering applications and functions none of the other websites could, and also–as we’re told by the movie–was able to completely defeat his rivals all of whom possessed a higher advantage through education and socializing that he lacked. David Fincher composes a competent and brutally sardonic gem of 2010 with cast of young performers who are more than capable of handling such weighty characters coming face to face with a cultural revolution that changed the way we look at corresponding with people and communicating with one another. Jesse Eisenberg deserves an Academy Award nomination for his bold faced depiction of Zuckerberg as a man who remorselessly brings down every single phony and braggart in his eyesight all in an effort to rise above his poverty and become someone he struggles to bring down by the time the finale rolls around.
Though Zuckerberg is a silent genius he is also one who is incapable of affording honesty and courage, so he uses the advent of Facebook to grant him the right to jab at and destroy everyone he never had the guts to attack when eye to eye and Eisenberg’s portrayal speaks of a man desperate to be something important, but for what he’s never really sure of in the end. Eisenberg handles the rapid fire and often sharp dialogue with utter finesse and manages to steal the film out from under Fincher whose direction is considerably understated albeit sleek and eye-catching. Jumping back and forth from the beginning of “The Facebook” in to the modern day where Zuckerberg sits through two major lawsuits, “The Social Network” is a modern day tale of a man who rose to power to become king of his domain and was left with little else but an empire at his feet and a room full of people willing to kill for his wealth and reputation. Meanwhile Zuckerberg set the path for a new generation of passive aggression and underhanded tactics through a social networking site that proved to be a mainstay.
Andrew Garfield is fantastic as Zuckerberg’s Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin, and Justin Timberlake is delightfully slimy as lecherous Sean Parker, the Napster founder who horns in on Facebook once he sees that big profits are an inevitable. This is a film very different from Fincher’s typical repertoire and knack for choosing projects that border on eccentric and surreal, and for that he’s able to change tones and provide a straight forward and top notch drama that is easily one of the best dramatic titles of 2010, a lackluster year for the genre in general. If you don’t buy in to everything it tells you, and can ignore the blatant sexism, “The Social Network” is without a doubt one of the best films of 2010, a relevant exploration in to the changing of communication and socializing through a man who built an empire around the inability to tell people how he really felt and tear himself away from the life of poverty he despised. Jesse Eisenberg is superb, the supporting cast is fantastic, and David Fincher has yet another notch under his belt.