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Movie Review: The Social Network

Prinz Lee image

Prinz Lee wrote this review 5 years ago

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Written 9/20/10

TAGLINE: You don’t get to 500 million friends without making a few enemies.

Before I start ripping into this review, I’d love to share how badass and how much I love this film’s tagline. It’s so true in many aspects of life as a whole and if you go back into our world’s history… it’s amazing how much mankind’s hate, exploitation and mischievous attitude “accomplished.”

(Cough) Ok, now that I got that out of the way – Let’s go!!

I’m sure most will sit there and say “not me,” but please spare me the bullshit! It is obvious in life there are those born with good looks (me) or with the natural ability to write film reviews (me). Others are just born into money (not me) or are naturally charismatic (me); at the snap of a finger I draw people my way, it’s simply unexplainable. Then there are the rest of you – nothing special. You’ll never be like me or others you admire. You look at us and say “it’s fine,” but can’t even convince yourself it is. Once again, whether you choose to admit it or not, you want to be like us or gain our approval. You want people like us see you as our equals. Truth is it remains to be seen. It won’t be easy, but if the feeling is we’re living in a progressive world, than I think anything is possible. Don’t hold your breath though – heed my words of wisdom.

Identified by many as “The Facebook Movie,” Fincher’s The Social Network is not about the creation of one of the internet’s most successful websites. It’s not about becoming the world’s youngest billionaire. It’s not about greed and it’s not about power. The Social Network is a film about the obsessive desire/need for acceptance as a whole – everything else is just added pleasure!

Once upon a time during the fall of 2003 Mark Zuckerberg's (Eisenberg) is hangin’ at a bar with his girlfriend (Mara). He breaks down the importance of being part of one of Harvard University’s prestigious all-male social societies called “Final Clubs.” Why? Well, because they’re “exclusive,” a word that Mark battles with throughout the entire movie. Mark has a severe/shitty personality issue. To put it in psychological terms, he’s a fucking prick! Due to his advance level of intelligence, he gives off a stink of superiority and has no tolerance for those whom he thinks are beneath him. He’s abrupt and stubborn, which, of course, makes him unapproachable and keeps everyone away. His only other option is to do something that’ll make people accept him. Enter the Winklevoss twins (Hammer). These 6’5” blonde Adonis’s are everything Mark is looking for: members of the Porcelain “Final Club,” future Olympic rowers, and retainers of inherited money. They sit at the head of the cool kids’ table, shining examples of the kinds of people Mark wants attention from. He gets it after creating something called “,” a small website so powerful it shuts down Harvard’s servers. The Winklevoss twins bring him in for a meeting with the Porcelain Club stairway and tell Mark their idea: create a social networking site defined by exclusivity, where women can find and meet Harvard men. It seems like everything Mark wants. But he’s not in a “final club,” he’s in a stairway. He’s not friends with the Winklevosses, he’s a business partner. He hasn’t been accepted – he’s been reached out to with a fifteen foot pole.

Whether because of his fucked-up attitude or his approach, everything that Mark does to obtain acceptance winds up in rejection. He tells his girl that being in a “Final Club” would allow her better access to the upper class, leading her to dump him. Mark’s first attempt to make a website in the film, a site where pictures of female Harvard students are posted next to each other and the users click on the girl that they think is the hottest, is wildly popular but results in every girl on campus seeing him as a sexist pervert and their boyfriends repeatedly threatening him. Facebook is a billion dollar idea that winds up with Mark dealing with two simultaneous lawsuits, one of which comes from his best friend. You may be tempted at this point to think of Mark Zuckerberg as a sympathetic character, however, don’t be fooled - Mark Zuckerberg is a Nazi-like tyrant, an unstoppable force. Every attempt he makes to gain acceptance winds up hurting someone; he is a compulsive serial bridge burner. Feeling “dissed” by the Winklevosses, he morphs their idea and keeps them dangling on a string before cutting them off entirely. When his best friend and Facebook business partner, Eduardo Saverin (Garfield), becomes a prospective “Final Club” member, gaining the acceptance that Mark desires, he begins to shut more and more doors, rejecting idea after idea, before Eduardo is left behind completely. Mark has a [fuck it] approach by attempting the impossible, trying to gain acceptance through rejection.

This isn’t a simple film. It’s not the step-by-step approach that you might see from a director less talented than David Fincher. At no point in the movie is the audience meant to sympathize with Mark. There’s no emotional scene during the climax where he crawls into a corner and weeps uncontrollably because he feels so alone. While the audience may feel the occasional shake from its cold moments, Aaron Sorkin’s script never lets the audience feel distanced from the material. Eisenberg – an actor I’ve always felt has lots to offer and recently stuck playing the nebbish, nervous weakling elsewhere – is stronger and more captivating here than we’ve ever seen him. Even though there’s mixture of lies with truth, the film stands on its own and delivers a strong message. All of us can relate to Mark Zuckerberg. And that’s what will keep you engaged. You and I both want that same acceptance and equality Mark wants. Plenty of movies show that heavy is the head that wears the crown. We have enough movies where money goes to people’s heads and it exposes that greed is good. The Social Network outright rejects the trophies of power and money. Instead, Fincher and Sorkin have presented us with something that we can all understand and relate to: the costs of the desire for acceptance when it transforms into the blind ambition of social struggles. Overall, the film delivers a lot more than the birth of Facebook. A good watch and recommend everyone to watch it at some point – whether at the movies,
DVD or cable. It’ll make you have a different approach after watching it and logging on to your
Facebook account.



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