Review: THE SOCIAL NETWORK (2010) | Casey's Movie Mania | Movie Reviews, Features & Others

Sunday, 26 December 2010



When the project was announced that a semi-biographical movie about Facebook is greenlighted, I was pretty skeptical at first. But given the fact that the movie, entitled as THE SOCIAL NETWORK, the unique combination of talents involving screenwriter Aaron Sorkin (1992's A FEW GOOD MEN and TV's The West Wing) and visionary director David Fincher, my interest is quickly justified. And how is it exactly THE SOCIAL NETWORK fares? Let's just say, if this movie has its own Facebook page, you click "Like", "Share" and finally leaves a good comment about it -- because THE SOCIAL NETWORK is hands-down one of the best movies of the year.

Based on the book, "The Accidental Billionaires" by Ben Mezrich, the story chronicles on how then 19-year-old Harvard student Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg) first started as an ambitious geek who wants to create history by making a social networking page. Told in non-linear fashion, we are treated back and forth -- from the attorney's office where twins Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss (Armie Hammer in dual roles), is suing Zuckerberg by stealing their idea after they hired to work on their similar Harvard Connection website, to the Harvard's dorm room where it is all began. After suffering a breakup with fellow university undergrad Erica Albright (Rooney Mara), who is sick and tired of Zuckerberg's arrogance, he returns to his dorm room a little drunk and posts nasty blog about Erica and ends up compiling students' photo IDs hacked from Harvard's computer network to create a Hot-or-Not rating site called Facemash. Within seconds, his blog site quickly grows popular and from there, things start to sparkle inside Zuckerberg's ever-creative mind. With the help of his best friend and eventual business partner Eduardo Saverin (Andrew Garfield), programmer Dustin Moskovitz (Joseph Mazzello), and graphic artist Chris Hughes (Patrick Mapel), Facebook is born. At the beginning, it's a social networking site meant for Harvard but thanks to the generous fund of Napster founder Sean Parker (Justin Timberlake), Facebook grows expansively from surrounding colleges to everyone around the world.

The best part about this movie is how director David Fincher and screenwriter Aaron Sorkin manage to sustain the viewers from the beginning to end with spectacular ensemble cast (Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, and of course a surprisingly solid supporting turn by Justin Timberlake -- all three deserved some award-worthy recognitions) and of course, the incredibly witty and entertaining screenplay that says it all. No doubt the movie is very talkative but Aaron Sorkin's perfect ears for overlapping dialogues are compulsively watchable. It's almost feel as if the entire movie could have been directed by Quentin Tarantino, minus all the violence.

Time after time, David Fincher have continuously proven that he's a versatile filmmaker who is not only good with visual but anything that is given to him. Back in 2008, he made a bold move by venturing out of his comfort zone to helm the effective drama of "reverse-aging" process in THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON (2008), and now he's making another breakthrough as a visionary director who also can pulled off a masterpiece without relying too much on fancy visuals. Technical-wise, Fincher knows well how to hook the viewers glued to the screen even though there's nothing really fancy about the overall visuals throughout the movie. Still it is undeniable that everything looks stunning to look at -- from Jeff Cronenweth's expressive cinematography (golden-brown interiors at Harvard and sleek, cold meeting rooms at the attorney's office); Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross's cool-sounding music; and right down to Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall's airtight editing.

As flawless as it all sounds, THE SOCIAL NETWORK is still not without its few problems. We actually learn little about the life of Mark Zuckerberg other than pursuing his dream to create the ultimate social networking site and it's also a movie that is lack of proper resolution towards the end.

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