Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Social Network (2010)


Currently being sued simultaneously by his best friend, Eduardo Saverin (Andrew Garfield) and three ex-college aspiring businessmen, Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg) reflects on the rise of FACEBOOK.


If creating a great film could be mathematically quantified, and predetermined, one would be hard pressed to look for a better case study than The Social Network. You have a proven director, one who can blend drama, style, and thrill onto the screen like few others. A writer with a proven record of taking factual events and blending them seamlessly with fictional ones in order to create a captivating tale. A cast of talented unknowns, each deserving more public appreciation than they get. Put it together, and well, I think the film speaks rather well for itself on that matter.

Gripping, funny, dark, emotional, The Social Network is a breathtaking tale of deceit, conquest, and consequences. Delivering admirably at each category it wishes to approach, a feat seldom achieved by many modern films.

The Social Network is one of those rare cases where there isn't a single glue. No one thing holds it together throughout. Fincher reaches broad, goes for the gold, and connects with most every effort. Though few can get as much out of a cast as well as he can.

Eisenberg is an absolute delight as the emotionally calm, intellectually elitist, Zuckerberg. Arnie Hammer lights up as the competitive Winklevoss twins. Even Justin Timberlake manages to make the most of his appearance. Though for me the real shining star was Andrew Garfield as Eduardo Saverin.

While Saverin's tale here is quite beefed up for emotional draw, Garfield handles the role perfectly, supplying the right amount of emotional sympathy many of he other lead characters lack. With Rashida Jones there along the way to provide an outsider perspectives, and moral compass, to the film.

If there is one area where The Social Network left me feeling down it would be the ending. It serves as a great bookmark on the central Zuckerberg, yet I can't help but feel after all that emotion bubbled up into the finale, the film deserved a few more minutes. Perhaps a final confrontation? Something more than text explanations would have been a nice treat.

Otherwise, I have very few complaints about The Social Network. They took the time to make the code talk sound legitimate, and as far as I can tell be legitimate (though I'm not among the hacking sort). It's a tale that takes the best cinema has to offer, and makes it work to its advantage time and time again.

One would be hard pressed to call The Social Network perfect, but in a year of mediocrity it shines brighter than most. Intelligently written, The Social Network is a multi-layered character study about some truly fascinating characters. It may fudge the facts, but every change is for the better. Never drudging, The Social Network blends comedy and drama in a way well worth your time and attention.

10 better thoughts:

The Mad Hatter said...

Holy shit! The first 8.5/8 review on LIE this year!! Guess all those ads comparing it to CITIZEN KANE were right huh?

Jokes aside, this is a solid review amigo. I liked it ever-so-slightly less than you did, but I'd wager that I find myself drawn deeper into it with further watches.

Dan said...

Yet to see the film but with the talent involved this is the least I'd expect. An intelligent and multi-layered script is something Sorkin seems to concoct in his sleep. The match-up of Fincher and Sorkin is an interesting one right off the bat. Looking forward to seeing this even though the subject matter doesn't thrill me.

Simon said...

Loved it, yo. The Winklevii is my new favorite phrase. If I had turtles, I'd name them that.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I didn't get out to the theater for this one, but I will watch it on NetFlix. Eisenberg was great in Zombieland.

Univarn said...

@Mad What earned it that 8.5 really: It's the first film this year where at no time did I think "I wonder what time it is." Start to finish, I was hooked.

@Dan The subject matter is important in what it presents, but it's the characters that make the story.

@Simon On the plus side, if you ever have twins you have the perfect middle name lined up.

@AlexJ He was, and I'm liking him more and more. Though he's stuck a bit in the "intellectually superior, but surrounded by normal people, character"

Simon said...

Middle name? Please, I'm changing my last name to Winklewise. I'd make that sacrifice for my kids, yo.

If anything, I'd get some twin grandkids or something. That shit always skips a generation.

Chase Kahn said...

I hate it when films end in text. I love The Social Network, but it should have ended with Zuckerberg hitting refresh and on one last click, the screen goes "Baby, You're a Rich Man", no text, no nothing...woulda been perfect.

CMrok93 said...

Totally blown away by the fact, that a film about Facebook directed by David Fincher, can be a big-time Oscar contender. Loved it almost from start to finish, hope it gets awards come Oscar time. Nice post, check out my review when you can!

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