7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Revealing the Face behind Facebook,
This review is from: The Social Network [DVD]  (DVD)I must admit I was doubtful that a film about the inception and subsequent growth of Facebook would be able to hold my interest, especially since it would feature the two court cases against creator Mark Zuckerberg. The idea of a legal drama based around a social networking site sounded tedious to me, but enough people had recommended it that I decided to give it a try.
The biggest surprise was how much of the movie was focused on the relationship between Mark Zuckerberg and his best friend, Eduardo Saverin, who helped finance the site in its early days. The relationship between the two and how it eventually leads them into the courtroom was fascinating and the movie seemed to characterise them well, bringing up interesting questions as to what was the reason that these two friends ended up becoming opposing counsel in a court-case.
Everyone is familiar with Facebook, although I'd wager not everyone was aware of its origins as 'The Facebook', a strictly invitation-only social network designed for use in Havard University as a way for students to develop online circles of friends, before the expansion eventually made it the multi-billion dollar company it became with everyone and their nan having Facebook accounts.
Jesse Eisenburg plays the founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, with a slight aspergers tint to his personality. He has some subtle behaviour quirks, such as his distance with his friends and collegaues and often not looking at people when they talk to him. It portrays him as unlikeable and the biggest irony is that the person responsible for creating a social networking website that links friends from all over the world, is actually a bit of a loner.
Faring slightly better on the likeability scale is Eduardo Saverin, played by Andrew Garfield, who is Mark's best friend and helps him financially during the websites origins. The film seems to portray him as a nice guy, but with limited dreams, who wants to settle for the immediate pay-off, whilst Zuckerberg and later acquaintance, Sean Parker (Justin Timberlake) have their sights set on building the site up globally.
The film is framed by the court-cases that are taking place in current-day with flashbacks to the university days where Zuckerberg and Saverin are developing the website and trying to keep it running without investors. Once Sean Parker gets involved, the friendship becomes strained and leads to the eventual fallout of the two parties, setting the court-case into motion.
I really found this to be enjoyable, despite the fact the subject matter was fairly mundane - I mean, there was no real action or intrigue, but the mundane court-case was made so much more interesting by the fact that we'd gotten to know (and in some cases, like) these characters through the flashbacks that it was almost sad to see them becoming bitter and spiteful towards each other during the main court-case, showing that money and success in business often comes at the cost of losing true friendship.
Whilst the facts in the film might not be completely accurate and some of the events glamorised somewhat to keep the film narrative interesting, it was enjoyable and a bit of an eye-opener to see how the website that I log into daily came into existence and the personal cost of such a thing. Now, I'm sure Mark Zuckerberg isn't crying into his billions of dollars over his business decisions that cut out his friends from his life, but it does raise the question of whether you would sell out your friends in order to succeed in life.