Many different factors makes THE SOCIAL NETWORK an outstanding film

  The Social Network may seem like the film will only focus on the invention of Facebook, but it becomes something much more than that.

  As a Harvard junior in 2003, Mark is hired by twin jocks Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss (both roles played by Arnie Hammer) and their frat brother, Divya Narendra (Max Minghella) to create a Harvard-exclusive dating site. Mark takes their idea a step further and creates Facebook with his best friend Eduardo Saverin (Andrew Garfield) as CFO. As the site become more popular and less exclusive, Napster founder Sean Parker (Justin Timberlake) helps Mark and Eduardo secure funds in order for Facebook to become global. Things turn sour when Mark and Eduardo have a falling out with one another. This leads to Eduardo suing Mark after being forced out from the company he help invented, along with the Winklevoss twins suing Mark for stealing their idea.

  Aaron Sorkin (The West Wing, A Few Good Men) based his screenplay for The Social Network on Ben Merzrich’s book The Accidental Billionaire. We get a taste of Sorkin’s fast-paced dialogue when the film opens with a scene in which Mark is dumped by his girlfriend Erica (Rooney Mara). From there on, Sorkin packs tons of dialogue in this two-hour movie with speedy delivery the actors recite when the characters in the movie carry conversations with one another. 

  The Social Network is David Fincher’s first film of the decade after directing a trio of outstanding films in the past decade that includes Panic Room and Zodiac. Unlike Se7en and Fight Club, Fincher’s obsession with visuals does not present itself in this film. Instead, his obsession takes a backseat to Sorkin’s superb screenplay and the tremendous performances from the ensemble.

  The story told in Merzrich’s book is told chronologically and starts when Eduardo meets Mark at a frat party; however, the film begins with Mark’s ill-fated date with Erica, which was the catalyst for the invention of Facebook. However, the story of The Social Network is told in a non-linear structure. The movie cuts back and forth between the 2003-04 events that led to the creation of Facebook and the two depositions from the lawsuits instigated by the Winklevoss twins and Eduardo against Mark that takes place several years later.

  The performances from the ensemble of The Social Network are outstanding from the male leads of the film to the female roles that are crucial to the story. Jesse Eisenberg delivers an unforgettable performance as Mark, who seems at first to be a seemingly likable dork and a social outcast longing to fit into Harvard society. However, as the story progresses, Mark ultimately commits the ultimate deception by stabbing his best friend in the back.

  Andrew Garfield plays Eduardo as the movie’s sole “good guy” in this story because Eduardo stood up for Mark several times until he was betrayed by his best friend. Justin Timberlake has the great role as the Napster founder, who befriended Mark and played a crucial role in sparking tension between Mark and Eduardo. In a breakthrough performance, Armie Hammer plays the Winklevoss twins through the magic of trick photography and manages to give his characters two different personalities that constantly bicker over whether they will sue Mark or not. In a small but important role, Rooney Mara (who will star with Daniel Craig in Fincher’s next film The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) is the unintentional muse that influenced Mark to invent and expand Facebook.

  The score for The Social Network was composed by Nine Inch Nails front man Trent Reznor and his NIN producer Atticus Ross. This is not Reznor and Fincher’s first collaboration together because Fincher used NIN’s music in Se7en and he also directed the NIN music video Only in 2005. Just like Johnny Greewood’s score from There Will Be Blood, Reznor and Ross’ score adds to the mood of the film and it does not become too distracting that it overlaps the dialogue.

  The Social Network is the best movie of the year that not only tells the story of the invention of Facebook, but a tale of friendship, betrayal, greed and jealousy.

The Social Network: 5 stars out of 5

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