Movie review: The Social Network by David Fincher

Directed by: David Fincher
Screenplay: Aaron Sorkin

Cast:
Mark Zuckerberg: Jesse Eisenberg
Eduardo Saverin: Andrew Garfield
Erica Albright: Rooney Mara
Sean Parker: Justin Timberlake
Release date: 2010
MPAA rating: PG-13




Synopsis:
It is a story based on facts, telling how Mark Zuckerberg came up with the idea (or rather stole the idea) of Facebook. It really rings true.
My impressions:
This movie might have been very boring. I almost expected some boring parts, you know, it is all about one ugly lawsuit between Mr. Zuckerberg and people he allegedly cheated. Instead, the director partially showed us some flashes from the past and partially told us about the whole issue during a deposition, using also a great soundtrack to emphasize several turning points of the screenplay. The result was interesting, dynamic and fresh.

Mark Zuckerberg, the main character, is presented in a clever way – he is an underdog, a really gifted IT student at Harward who got there because he was talented, not because he was backed by rich parents or good connections. At first you want to cheer for him. BUT. Even in the opening scene, when his girlfriend breaks up with him in a pub (and let me tell you she does it for a reason), you can notice he is too ambitious, vengeful and ruthless to be a positive character. Immediately after the break-up he calls Erica (the said ex-girlfriend) a bitch on his blog, offends her and her family and then he hacks for fun into the sites of different Harward houses and creates the Face Mash – a program which intention was to find the most attractive female student. His first idea, though, was to compare those girls to animals. A lovely reaction, isn’t it? 

I don’t know whether it was true but I think it might be – after all good, meek citizens don’t become the youngest billionaires ever – but even if it was false I really enjoyed the complexity of Mark’s character. As the story evolves it becomes clear he is a man for whom the end ALWAYS justifies the means – he betrays his only friend (Saverin) when he thinks it can be profitable and generally breaks his word several times without any great pangs of conscience. Ok, maybe he is not exactly comfortable with himself but he never truly blames himself either. He is a genius, isn’t he? Even if he steals the ideas of other people he does so only to transform them and create something fantastic and unique, right? He shouldn’t be judged like the rest of dumb, unimaginative herd of ordinary men, should he?
The second issue, perhaps a secondary one in this movie but important to me, is an amazing degree of misogyny among those young, influential and educated young men. I was really surprised by the fact that in their humble opinion girls at Harward (and pretty much elsewhere) existed for three basic purposes: to be picked up and shown around, to be bedded or, in case they are not exactly pretty, to perform different tasks you wouldn’t like to do yourself. None of the characters in this movie treats any of females in their proximity as their equal partners. None of the females voices any objections either.


The most blatant scene? Mark is choosing his first and most senior employees, like his CFO, and he takes into account only men, present in the room – the two girls, both lovely Asians, who hang out with them at that time are not taken into any serious consideration. When asked what they are doing there he says they do “nothing”, not even bothering to find out what subject they study (as the girls are obviously both students) or what they know. Afterwards we see the Facebook office with men and women working side by side, that’s true, but I got an impression women were there just for these stupid, repetitive, menial tasks no man would bother to do. Once again, I don’t know if this truly abhorrent approach is really prevalent among Harward students but if it is, my commiseration, dear gentlemen, as you try to ignore to your cost half of the humankind. That’s why Zuckerberg’s ex-girlfriend was my favourite character in this movie; she rejected the a*****e and she never looked back even though she’s created a profile on Facebook as well.
Final verdict:
A very intelligent and surprisingly entertaining movie which speaks volumes about the Facebook founder, his methods and his real aims. Really recommendable especially if you’ve ever visited Facebook or have had an account there. It is good to know who manages your personal data.




  

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