Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Archive - The Social Network Review - Vue Cinema

Review from Doncaster Free Press (October, 2010)

(Unedited text below)

Mark Zuckerberg is the youngest billionaire in America, wholly due to a website he created whilst a student at Harvard University. That invention went on to become Facebook, and The Social Network, the new film from Fight Club director David Fincher tells the story of the site’s foundation. The tale is told through subsequent multi-million dollar lawsuits brought against Zuckerberg; these serve as a way to structure the story in flashback form as the evidence is heard.

It is rare that a modern film focuses on such flawed and dislikeable characters. The strength of this film is that it doesn’t shy away from doing this, yet still emerges as an engaging story. Zuckerberg and his ilk may be the academic cream of the crop but few of them are portrayed as people with whom you’d like to spend a lot of time. Jesse Eisenberg gives his best performance to date as Zuckerberg, and whilst his portrayal of social awkwardness may help explain how Facebook came about, it is far from endearing and there’s a streak of unsavoury misogyny which is shared by several characters in the film.

The dialogue from Aaron ‘The West Wing’ Sorkin is as intelligent as you’d expect from one with his track record. Not only is it quick-witted, it’s also simply… quick. I’m not sure there’s been a film with such fast dialogue since Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell traded verbal punches in His Girl Friday. It takes a minute or two to adjust to the rhythm but once you’re used to it, you’re left wishing that all of life’s conversations could be scripted by Sorkin.

The unfussy direction by Fincher serves the story and creates an intelligent yet absorbing film. Arguments will continue as to the veracity of some of the events depicted in the film but as a piece of entertainment, it’s spot on. And thus ends a review without resorting to corny facebook references. In summary I ‘liked’ it. Oh, so close!

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