The Social Network is, in my opinion, one of the greatest movies out there. No exaggeration, it’s got to be one of the best films I’ve ever seen. A biographical film focused on the rise of Mark Zuckerberg to tech superstardom with the creation of Facebook, it includes huge levels of almost theatre-classic drama within its narrative, character arcs, and building crescendo of tense chaos and heartbreak throughout its 2-hour run-time. It’s a God-damn masterpiece.
From the brilliant mind and talents of David Fincher, The Social Network begins at Harvard, 2003, with a young, frankly snobbish (although is this just a defence mechanism?) Mark Zuckerberg, played by Jesse Eisenberg, getting very drunk and realising the potential of an online network where you could interact with your friends, keep tabs on what they’re doing, and pretty much discover all the key things about them; their job, degree, friends, interests and relationship status. It sounds creepy because, well, it is. In this endeavour, with this ‘billion-dollar idea’ (quote on quote from Sean Parker’s movie counterpart, played by a surprisingly great Justin Timberlake), Mark, as the film’s poster says, makes a fair few enemies, and destroys a fair few friendships in his self-consumed quest for success.
The film is by no means an accurate portrayal of what actually happened in those fateful few years in Palo Alto where Facebook was born. It’s a movie: events, friendships and emotions are dramatised to near biblical proportions in order to garner a greater reaction out of the audience. The Social Network was in fact heavily criticised by the real-life founders of Facebook, who claimed it to be a fallacy; but, of course, if a movie portrays you to be an arrogant, selfish and self-conscious man, you’re going to deny it, so who really knows what the truth is.
What came out of this story was a tale of near Shakespearean excellence, with all the key literary tropes (not to sound like an English nerd) to make a near modern tragedy of betrayal, mistrust, and the cost of greed to personal moral self-worth. Mark is so caught up in his own yearning for success, to prove himself in a way to all those that had ‘belittled him’ (but for good reason; he is NOT a nice guy), that it ultimately becomes his downfall. Bearing a plotline so fantastic, The Social Network is a must-see for literally anyone.
Check out the trailer for The Social Network below: