“The Social Network” was directed by David Fincher, written by Aaron Sorkin and based on the 2009 book, “The Accidental Billionaires” by Ben Mezrich. Fincher is best known for his incredible collection of films including, “Seven”, “Fight Club” & “The Game”. Sorkin had written several hit films himself such as “A Few Good Men”, “Enemy of the State” & “The Rock”. The film stars Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, Justin Timberlake, Armie Hammer, Max Minghella in the principle roles. Other cast members include Brenda Song, Rashida Jones, Joseph Mazzello, Rooney Mara, Wallace Langham, Dakota Johnson & Caleb Landry Jones who have roles throughout the film but are not integral to the story.
In 2003, after a Harvard sophomore, Mark Zuckerberg (Eisenberg) is dumped by then girlfriend, Erica Albright (Mara), he proceeds to bash her via his personal blog while simultaneously creating a website that ranks fellow female student based on their “hotness”. With help from his roommate, Dustin Moskovitz (Mazzello) and close friend Eduardo Saverin (Garfield), they create “facesmash.com” and ends up crashing the a big part of Harvard’s computer network. Mark is given 6 months of academic probation but gains the attention of twin brothers Tyler & Cameron Winklevoss (both played by Hammer) and their business partner, Divya Narenda (Minghella) about a social network website that is exclusive to Harvard students that they call “The Harvard Connection”. Mark goes to Eduardo with a similar idea called “The Facebook”, which would be exclusive to any Ivy League students. After agree to terms of a 70 / 30 split, Eduardo agrees and provides $1000 to jumpstart the site and within days it goes beyond their expectations. Learning of the site and feeling as if Mark stole their idea, the Winklevoss boys and Divya do all they can to bring down the site. Meanwhile, after The Facebook expands to other schools including, Columbia, Yale and Stanford, Mark & Eduardo gain the attention of Sean Parker (Timberlake) the man who co-founded “Napster”. With Parker’s help, The Facebook expands overseas to Europe but Eduardo feels as if Sean isn’t worth their time. As time goes on, Mark is on cloud 9 and does care who he pisses off or turns on. As it is says on the movie’s poster, “You don’t get to 500 million friends without making a few enemies”.
This was a fantastic film from beginning to end with great writing, acting and cinematography. Jesse Eisenberg has a career defining performance here. While his performance does resemble other awkward teenager roles like in “Zombieland” & “Adventureland”, this is head and shoulders above those other roles. Andrew Garfield also gives a great performance and almost steals the show but really holds his own against Eisenberg. Justin Timberlake’s performance really took me by surprise as it was probably the best he has ever given even though that isn’t saying much as Timberlake’s filmography is not all that great with the exception of maybe 3 movies including this one. Armie Hammer also gives us a great performance playing twins but with separate motivations and points of view within the story. David Fincher did an amazing job directing and gave this film a very dark under tone with very light humor and it all really works. Fincher’s incredible directing mixed with Sorkin’s writing really gave this film a everything to separate itself from Fincher’s thriller films and Sorkin’s action films. The story itself is amazing while it does have some historical inaccuracies that basically just the “Hollywood” aspect of the story. They change a few things to make the film more of entertaining rather it being a by the books biopic or documentary.
I have yet to see a bad film from David Fincher (I, personally, don’t include “Alien 3) and this film was no different. The film received 8 Academy Award nominations including Best Picture & Best Actor for Jesse Eisenberg. Fincher would continue to add to his impressive resume with films like 2011’s “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo” which starred Rooney Mara as well as 2014’s “Gone Girl”. Jesse Eisenberg would go on to star in is his own catalog of films which include “Now You See Me” 1 & 2, “30 Minutes or Less”, “American Ultra” and “Vivarium”. He would also play ‘Lex Luthor’ in both 2016’s “Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice” & 2017’s “Justice League” He is scheduled to appear in 2021’s “Justice League: The Snyder Cut “. Andrew Garfield would appear in the 2 “Amazing Spider Man” films as the titular character as well as “Hacksaw Ridge”, “99 Homes” & “Breathe”.