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11-12-2010, 04:01 PM #1
Exclusive Movie Review The Social Network (November 12, 2010)
Cast: Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, Justin Timberlake
Direction: David Fincher
Duration: 2 Hours
IMDB Rating : 8.5/10
Story : A biographical account of Mark Zuckerberg and his billion dollar invention which changed the face of the world, The Social Network is much more than a story of Facebook and its founder.
It's a universal tale of all that's good, great and beastly in the human psyche, even as it traces the ups and downs in young Zuckerberg's life as he faces applause and blame for his achievements, all at the same time. The world may hail him as the youngest billionaire, but Zuckerberg has to battle million dollar law suits and face allegations of stealing the idea of the social networking site from his Harvard mates, the Winklevoss brothers, and cheating his best friend and CFO, Eduardo Saverin.
Movie Review : Guilty or innocent? You decide. Yes, that's the USP of David Fincher's compelling biopic which paints an intensely human picture of the entrepreneur who ended up facing messy law suits which showcased him as a mean, me-centric, Machiavellian man of questionable morals. Yet, he remains a hero-figure you can't end up hating, despite his flawed personality and his ambivalent ethics. And that's the hallmark of all great story-telling. For, when it comes to human drama, there aren't any unadulterated bad guys and good guys. Only flawed-and-fine guys. Remember Shakespeare?
So buckle up for this new age Shakespearean tale of a twenty-something super geek who doesn't want to be a nobody. But that's not why Zuckerberg's story is important. Nobody likes being a nobody. But nobody becomes a billionaire at 25. And nobody ends up being friendless even after having 500 million people sign up on a friend request site. More importantly, nobody looks clueless, vulnerable and innocent even after felling the most treacherous blow on his best friend and battling with embarrassing legal hassles that accuse him of `petty larceny' and flagrant cheating. That too in Harvard, the citadel of supposed gentleman and men of honour, as the Winklevoss twins would insist.
There are so many interesting nuggets in the film. From Zuckergberg's first attempts at creating an interactive site as an act of vengeance against his girlfriend, Erica Albright (Rooney Mara) to his encounter with Napster's knight in shining armour, Sean Parker (Justin Timberlake), the drama hurtles across with breakneck speed. You can almost feel the energy pulsating through the untidy dormitory -- or the crummy house in Palo Alto -- where a hoodied Zuckerberg hobnobs with his handful of friends to juggle with codes and numbers to create the next big thing after Google. And all through the amorphous wonderland, our hero waltzes like a wide-eyed Peter Pan, lacking all the social graces that define the Harvard pack. All he cares about is creating the `coolest' site that is `freakishly addictive', without giving a dime about money and the moneyed life. He never does give up his hoodies and his flip flops and remains awkward with girls till the very end, preferring to spend his evenings wired up in solitary splendour. Or in desperate loneliness, wondering if he should send a friend request to the girl who dumped him on his first date....
The high point of The Social Network is its super screenplay (Aaron Sorkin) where every dialogue becomes a quotable quote. The exchange between the lead characters is witty and vibrant, carrying forth the drama with a throbbing intensity. And the performances are simply splendid. Jesse Eisenberg's portrayal of Mark Zuckerberg is absolutely riveting. For the actor treads the fine line between good and evil with supreme balance and he never does trip, not even for a minute. Andrew Garfield's Eduardo is adorable, adding flesh and blood to the best buddy syndrome, while Justin Timberlake's Sean Parker proves that the singer needs to urgently shift focus from the stage to the screen. He's mercurial, magical and deliciously mean.
Just don't miss this one and do ponder on the million dollar question: Would you `unfriend' a guy like Zuckerberg on your FB account? Do we hear a deafening `No'?