174 of 202 people found the following review helpful
Friendship, Betrayal, And Success--An Online Social Revolution Is Born From A Real World Social Ineptitude,
This review is from: The Social Network (Two-Disc Collector's Edition) (DVD)Director David Fincher is back in fighting form! Those fearing he may have lost some of his bite with the ponderous "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" or the disappointing returns of the criminally overlooked "Zodiac" need not worry. "The Social Network" is a caustically funny and incredibly contemporary look at the evolution of Facebook. Playing like a thriller and a blisteringly dark comedy, this terrific film may be Fincher's most sophisticated piece to date (and certainly his most riveting since the days of "Seven" and "Fight Club"). On paper, "The Social Network" might not sound exhilarating but with the perfect screenwriter (Aaron Sorkin) and the perfect cast (Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, Justin Timberlake, and Armie Hammer)--Fincher's tale of betrayal, pride, and avarice has become one of this year's must see films.
While I'm sure that everyone knows the subject matter of "The Social Network"--very briefly, the film's plot construction is structured as two pieces of litigation are being brought against Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg (played with intensity by Eisenberg). One lawsuit is from his former business partner and best friend--a co-founder of the original website who got systematically squeezed out. The other is by a trio of Harvard grads (Armie Hammer plays 2 of the 3, they're twins, in a starmaking performance!) who claim Zuckerberg stole the idea from them after he was hired to create an exclusive dating site. Seen through these concurrent cases, deftly edited with flashback footage, the full picture starts to unravel. From Zuckerberg's social ineptitude, but superior intellect, a social revolution was born. And the more powerful Facebook grew, the more disconnected Zuckerberg became to his only friends and compelled by the drive for domination (his ultimate sense of acceptance).
Make no mistake, while "The Social Network" is incredibly smart and literate, it is also grandly entertaining. Screenwriter Sorkin (creator of "The West Wing" and my favorite "Sports Night") has put together what, in my opinion, is the best screenplay of the year. Sorkin is known for his whip fast dialogue and it is spot-on here! The movie is corrosively witty and uncompromisingly in your face. The film is cast with thoroughly unlikable types in a battle for supremacy. Eisenberg has never been better--no doubt Zuckerberg is a tool (both before and after his success), but Eisenberg makes you understand why and (I'm startled to say) actually appreciate it. Timberlake (as oily Napster creator Sean Parker) is a fantastically appealing devil-in-disguise, but as much as you may dislike him--he was integral to Facebook going wide. Hammer, as I said, is the film's biggest surprise. And Andrew Garfield, as Zuckerberg's betrayed partner, is vivid and alive--and, dare I say, the only character to elicit actual sympathy. But again, the film is merciless--even though we know that Garfield is screwed, we also know that it was an essential part of the successful expansion of Facebook. Business ethics be darned.
"The Social Network" is grown-up entertainment that has much to say about success in the modern era. I appreciated that no one veered away from the heart of darkness in this morality piece--that's what makes everything seem so relevant. Can someone be both repugnant and admirable? If you told me earlier in the year that a film about computer geeks at a keyboard would be edge-of-your-seat entertainment, I wouldn't have believed it. But here, I go. For sheer entertainment, remarkable performances, and an incredibly sophisticated screenplay--"The Social Network" is easily one of my favorite films of the year! Easily. KGHarris, 10/10.
Tracked by 1 customer
Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 1-10 of 29 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Dec 25, 2010 1:49:49 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 25, 2010 1:50:52 PM PST
Thank you for a great review! As a facebook addict, (who used to tease my students for being addicts), I can say this makes me appreciate the movie even more. I love facebook for connecting me to family and friends, with which I have lost track due to our fastpaced, busy life. However, if you had told me that I would be a FB addict a few years ago, I would have laughed and said, "not a chance!"
In reply to an earlier post on Dec 28, 2010 12:15:41 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 28, 2010 12:16:13 AM PST
To Panache - Yeah, I said exactly the same thing about Facebook. Er, I joined yesterday! This movie is for me. K. Harris: Thank you!
Posted on Jan 7, 2011 2:49:21 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 7, 2011 2:50:22 PM PST
! Aesop - Sam says:
"The Social Network is grown-up entertainment that has much to say about success in the modern era."
- author Sam
Posted on Jan 11, 2011 8:25:57 PM PST
[Deleted by Amazon on Feb 20, 2011 6:32:48 AM PST]
Posted on Jan 22, 2011 4:39:48 PM PST
R. Nortcliff says:
Thank you for posting something of value- there are many in here who would condemn this film on the strength of it being 'a facebook film' and not for its true quality.
In reply to an earlier post on Jan 26, 2011 8:04:36 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Mar 22, 2011 1:40:51 PM PDT
You are not a gadget then, EliteLamo, correct?
Posted on Feb 13, 2011 7:28:46 PM PST
J. L LaRegina says:
Great review, K. Harris. I'm not sure how I wound up with a FACEBOOK account and I barely use it; the only friends I have through the website asked me, I didn't ask them. I had no interest in seeing THE SOCIAL NETWORK but after my wife and daughter saw the film and talked it up, last night I finally viewed the film and understand why it deserves such praise.
Posted on Mar 7, 2011 10:01:55 AM PST
Suzanne Smith says:
Wonderful review. I too had the same reaction. When I started the movie I was preparing myself for a snooze-fest, and ended up riveted to my tv screen. I thought the performances were awesome, Justin Timberlake did a great job portraying the sleazy Napster kid, and Andrew Garfield was phenomenal. You just felt so bad for the character knowing he was going to get royally screwed. I just wonder how much Zuckerberg ended up having to pay to settle with him.
Posted on Mar 21, 2011 9:25:07 PM PDT
In reply to an earlier post on Apr 15, 2011 12:01:43 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 15, 2011 12:05:34 AM PDT
My problems with this movie, in order of importance (descending):
1. We don't like anyone in this film, so we don't care.
2. We don't learn much about Facebook.
3. These people are America's elite, but they use their super-high IQ and wealth to create software that compares "who of the two coeds is hotter" (I would think they would do that at East Kentucky State, and that Harvard might be on to a bit more intelligent designs).
4. The film spends about 70% of its time in law offices, not in the software world. Fail ! Hello ! is this movie about law students, or about software entrepreneurs ?
5. The whole, "the rich will rat out their friends" thing is stale. We knew that. (watch "Green Street Hooligans" and then this movie, and tell me which is the better movie about elite east coast schools. And which characters do you care about more ?).
"Wall Street" was 10 times the movie this was, and we liked Bud Fox. We don't care about anyone in this film, it is flat, and we learn very little about software or social media.