Saturday, 19 February 2011

The Social Network (2010)

Pretty Good - 4/5
So I saw this film a few days ago called 'The Social Network'. Billed as one of the top movies of 2010 the film certainly had huge prestige at the time of my watching it. I had extremely high hopes for the film, yet by the end I found myself a tad dissapointed. I found myself questioning what so many people seemed to agree on, that 'The Social Network' was indeed one to watch from 2010.
From the outset I found myself bombarded with the hyperactivity we have come to expect in speech by screenplay writer Aaron Sorkin. I am sure that if he was to read this, he would find it complementary, because I am sure it was his aim to manifest a character that affected the audience in this way, and I applaud him for this. However, at times the dialogue went on a journey of its own, losing me as a viewer. I'm sure this was not what was aimed for.
Jesse Eisenberg's character Mark Zuckerberg was cast beautifully. He epitomised the type of person that we have come to label as a computer geek. Quite rightly too I might add. But the character was not one that an audience could warm to, he had very little likeability. Again, we were always meant to feel this way towards Zuckerberg, and although we would not take sides against him in the flash forward scenes that showed the two law suits taken up against him, by the end of the film we saw a dark side to Zuckerberg's nature after he effectively cut Eduardo Saverin, played ably by Andrew Garfield, out of the Facebook enterprise. Furthermore, as a viewer from England, I found myself in possession of an intense jealousy towards Eisenberg's character; I was jealous of how intellectual he was and at the same time I was jealous about the purveyed life an American scholar in a school such a Harvard leads. I'm sure you will know what I mean when I mention other characters that gave me the same feelings. I'm thinking of Denzel Washington's portayal of Rubin Carter in 'The Hurricane' (1999) who astounded us with his intelligence in a stunning film, the witty Paul Finch, played by Eddie Thomas, in the orginal 'American Pie' (1999) and 'National Lampoon's Animal House' (1978) which was one of the first to reveal to us here in sunny England the out of control, party lifestyle that is led by many US students. Whether these depictions are based on truth or wildly overestimated, it doesn't really matter. They still make us jealous.
Would I recommend 'The Social Network'? Yes, but with caution.


Andy Buckle said...

In my opinion this is the best film of 2010, and one of the defining films of the last decade. Which film will we remember in ten years, The Social Network or The King's Speech? I find it to be near-perfect.
Aaron Sorkin's screenplay is so seamlessly edited together, and the cinematography, score and ensemble performances are all masterfully directed by Fincher. Got robbed at the Oscars. I think you tend to dislike Zuckerberg but also feel sorry for him. He obviously is socially inept, but this is the guy that changed the face of social interaction across the globe. Sequences like the opening bar scene, and the rowing scene, are immediate classics. The Social Network is a film so in-the-moment, being overlooked by the Academy was a damn shame. 5 Stars from me.

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