The Social Network begins as a clever Harvard student and his girlfriend break up. The girl is fed up with the boy’s whingeing and self absorption, and the boy simply doesn’t understand. He may be a genius and this generation’s future Bill Gates, but he’s still a right berk. The boy is Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Einsberg) and shortly after he openly humiliates his ex-girlfriend via the net, he’ll launch a new concept called Facebook.
Though Aaron Sorkin’s script is punchy, clever and at times quite funny, he really has little to work with. The film follows two storylines simultaneously: one of Zuckerberg’s college days and the initial stages of Facebook, and the other of the recent lawsuits against him from his best friend and business partner Eduardo Saverin (Andrew Garfield), and an intellectual copyright battle with two Harvard students. A fine performance from Einsberg doesn’t save Zuckerberg from being particularly unlikable, and really that’s the case with all the characters here: you simply wouldn’t want to sit down and have a drink with any of them, or even add them on Facebook. Even Saverin, who seems at the raw end of the deal (though now owns five percent of Facebook which, if you do the math…well, he’s rich, anyway) appears whiney and ultimately unsympathetic.
The film is chatty, and director David Fincher deftly slides through dialogue, as do his actors, whose twenty-something year old conversations feel realistic and fresh. The film does drag with little weight or substance and runs a good twenty minutes too long, but there is enough humour to lift it somewhat, and enough controversy and fiction to keep you watching. But ultimately the film’s characters feel tiresome and one can’t help but imagine The Social Network would be more interesting in ten or twenty years, with the benefit of hindsight and history.
Kryztoff Rating 2.5K
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