This movie is being hailed as an iconic portrait of life in an Age of Information. But is it really all that, or are the writers guilty of over-simplification of the concept of social networking?
Regardless of the answer to that question, I must say, this movie is thoroughly fun to watch. Eisenberg’s nerd-inflected portrayal of Facebook’s founder Mark Zuckerberg is unwavering and entirely believeable. His self-assuredness and obvious disregard for social etiquette add another layer to the movie as one realizes how insignificant a role ‘being connected’ played in Facebook’s conception, as opposed to the number of hits that it’s precursor, Facemash, received.
Marylin Delpy: What are you doing?
Mark Zuckerberg: Checking in to see how it’s going in Bosnia.
Marylin Delpy: Bosnia. They don’t have roads, but they have Facebook.
The Social Network plays with the superposition of an exceptionally intelligent, socially inadept boy with Facebook- a tool meant to achieve that same social connection. Insofar as dialogue goes, there is no shortage of laughter. The pacing is perfect..
Mark Zuckerberg: “As for any charges stemming from the breach of security, I believe I deserve some sort of recognition from this Ad Board.”
Administrator: “I’m sorry?”
Mark Zuckerberg: “Yes.”
Administrator: “I don’t understand.”
Mark Zuckerberg: “Which part?”
Administrator: “You believe you deserve some recognition?”
Mark Zuckerberg: “I pointed out some pretty gaping holes in your system.”
Mark Zuckerberg: “You know you really don’t need a damn forensic team to get to the bottom of this. If you guys were the inventors of Facebook you’d have invented Facebook”
Mark Zuckerberg: “Eduardo was the president of the Harvard Investor’s Association and he was my best friend.”
Gage : “Your best friend is suing you for 600 million dollars.”
Mark Zuckerberg: “I didn’t know this. Tell me more
And yet, there is a vital truth missing from it. Not for one moment did I buy that Zuckerberg’s driving inspiration was a girl who wouldn’t take him back after he published some distasteful things about her on his blog. Nor did I think that the story of Facebook could be summed up by the trite tagline “ You don’t make 500 million friends without making a few enemies”, meant to underline Mark’s falling out with co-founder, Eduardo, in the process of creating a tool for spawning such very friendships.
I think that Zuckerberg, who “was the biggest thing on a campus that included 19 Nobel laureates, 15 Pulitzer prize winners, 2 future Olympians and a movie star” has an impressive story and personality without the Hollywood-typified embellishment, and was definitely a little disappointed on the storytelling front. However, the movie really has it’s moments- the “Winklevii” in particular, were fantastic; the humour was incisive and even Justin Timberlake didn’t quite manage to ruin it all.
Person2: What is it?
Person1 : I don’t know, but I’m really hoping it’s cats that look like Hitler ’cause I can never get enough of that.
Bottomline: Should it win Best Picture? In my opinion (and we all know that’s what counts), it is not deserving .
Should you watch it, though? For the dialogue and Eisenberg’s character, I’ll say yes.