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The Social Network - The story of "geek" worldwide domination,
This review is from: The Social Network (2-Disc Collector's Edition) [Blu-ray]  [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
The concept didn't sound that appealing if truth be told. A bunch of anally obsessed aspring Harvard final club boys in a completely male-centric environment playing around with HTML, computer code and all sorts of internet website mysterie. All of which then degenerates in a maelstrom of bitter litigation and lawsuits despite the fact that none cared about money and intellectual property? Furthermore it points to yet another example that the internet has the ability to spread ideas to a frenzied peak like no other invention in history giving massive exposure to those guys who were once the great underachievers in the American university system previously obsessed with jocks, sport and wealth. The film the "Social Network" is nevertheless a complete triumph and the pairing of director David Fincher (Fight Club) and the West Wing's wonderful screenwriter Aaron Sorkin takes this drama out of the dorm and on to the big screen with an assuredness that makes easily it one of 2010's best films.
The plot revolves around Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg) and the other Harvard University students who were the brainchild's of "The Facebook" the social networking website now claiming nearly half a billion members. Zuckerberg narcissistic portrayal by Eisenberg is superb and has the word Oscar stamped all over it. He captures all the arrogance, autism, ambition and alienation which led this genius programmer to start by crashing Harvard's entire IT system to eventually constructing the ubiquitous Facebook created according to the film as an angry response to being dumped by a girl. The "true" story centres on the fact that Zuckerberg's programming skills attract the attention of the Winklevoss twins (Armie Hammer and Josh Pence), who are the sons of a very wealthy business consultancy founder Dr. Howard Winklevoss and Olympic standard quality "rowing jocks". They enlist Zuckerberg to create a social website for them (Harvard connection) which coincidently matches his own developing ideas of the "The Facebook". The story develops from there into the warp speed contagion of Facebook colonisation of the planet and the reaction of those people left behind such as Zuckerberg's initial great friend and underwriting business partner Eduardo Saverin (Andrew Garfield). In doing so we also encounter Justin Timberlake brilliantly playing the Napster founder and internet bad boy Sean Parker: a parasite but with an uncanny eye to spot emerging internet trends who makes the immortal observation that Zuckerberg should just "Drop the "the". Just "Facebook". It's cleaner".
The script and dialogue is fast paced, witty, smart and stands with Sorkins best work on the West Wing. The film has the quality of a legal thriller and the language of blogs, backend coding, hackathons and programming are there but do not impede the narrative. It is fascinating in particular to watch these people become powerful so quickly and this combined with their undoubted genius in computer programming leads to the key interchange in the film which summarizes Zuckerberg's arrogance but also his huge talent. At a key point he snaps back to the prosecuting lawyer "You have part of my attention - you have the minimum amount. The rest of my attention is back at the offices of Facebook, where my colleagues and I are doing things that no one in this room, including and especially your clients, are intellectually or creatively capable of doing. Did I adequately answer your condescending question"?
The real life Zuckerberg has seen the film and states that movie got a lot of stuff wrong and random details right. Nevertheless at 26 only time will tell whether he has managed to create a colossus which may mark the end of privacy or have generated one of the greatest communication tools since we started mouthing words to one another. Similarly whether this brilliant film "The Social Network" is accurate, factional or fictional with a fortune running into billions Zuckerberg can live with the shame.