“The Social Network” Shows the Cold Face of Facebook


There are over 500 million Facebook users, half of which sign in every day and seventy percent of those users are outside of the United States. 150 million users access the site through their mobile phone; these users are twice as active as those who use a computer. I personally use Facebook a great deal and many of you reading this review do as well.

So how did the site get the huge global outreach that is has today? Lauded director David Fincher (Seven, Zodiac, Fight Club) shows us the controversial start of the famed social network and gives us a seat in the front row. As the film’s enticing tagline says, “You don’t get 500 million friends without making a few enemies.”

The film begins in 2003 when Mark Zuckerberg (Jessie Eisenberg) is having a drink with his girlfriend, Erica (Rooney Mara). After obsessing about the Final Clubs at Harvard University and insulting Erica’s “lesser” education (at Brown University), she leaves him. Mark keeps the beers flowing and blogs about Erica’s faults for everyone to see. Multitasking, Mark borrows an algorithm from his best friend Eduardo (Andrew Garfield) to create a site where people can rate the attractiveness of their classmates.

The stunt gets the attention of the Winklevoss twins, who belong to a final club, and want Mark to begin working on a website for their club. Mark agrees, but deceives them by instead going into business with Eduardo, who puts up a thousand dollars to start “The Facebook.” The Winklevoss twins, along with their friend Divya Narendra (Max Minghella) decide to take Zuckerberg on under violations of school conduct. The president of the university laughs them off and they are left to find a new plan of attack.

After “The Facebook” expands and grows in popularity, Mark and Eduardo find themselves with a lot more attention, which included the interest of two young women. Eduardo’s girlfriend eventually introduces them to Sean Parker (Justin Timberlake), the inventor of Napster. Parker’s party boy mentality and his “screw authority” attitude landed Mark’s attention, though it alarmed Eduardo. This is where the wheels begin to wobble and tensions begin to rise. As soon as the idea of a billion dollar product was in the air, Mark put his work on overdrive and refused to slow down for anyone.

The film is not told in a chronological fashion and jumps around between the early days of Facebook and meetings with attorneys and clients who are suing Mark for numerous reasons and incredible amounts of money. At first, the past to present leaps frustrated me a little, though it was only because I always wanted to see the continuation of the scene we just left. Maybe that is a testament to the screenplay written by Aaron Sorkin, it kept me wanting more at all times.

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