Review: The Social Network

Luke Bunker, Co-Editor

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“You don’t get to 500 million friends without making a few enemies.”  So goes the tagline of the latest blockbuster film out of Hollywood, The Social Network, written by Aaron Sorkin (The West Wing and Charlie Wilson’s War) and directed by David Fincher (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button).  Based on the nonfiction novel The Accidental Billionaires by Ben Mezrich, the film has a running time of two hours and is rated PG-13 (for show times, visit www.bbtheaters.com).

The film begins with Mark Zuckerburg (portrayed by Jesse Eisenberg) having drinks at a bar with his girlfriend, who soon dumps him because she feels that he is a jerk.  Fueled with anger over this breakup, Zuckerburg heads back to his dorm room, where, drunk, he blogs negative things about his ex-girlfriend and begins a “Hot or Not”-like website that receives thousands of hits and crashes the Harvard servers.  This experience compels several fellow students at Harvard to consult with Zuckerburg on a project they want to start, called “The Harvard Connection.”  When Zuckerburg avoids them and the students find out that he has started similar sites without their consultation, they sue him.  Zuckerburg’s “only friend,” Eduardo Saverin (portrayed by Andrew Garfield), who was originally in charge of the business side of the operation that became Facebook, is essentially taken out of the equation and then sues Zuckerburg.  The film continues to follow Zuckerburg, those suing him, and the various meetings, depositions, transformations and expansions that follow, all amidst an atmosphere of college life, sex, drugs, alcohol, and no shortage of drama.

With supporting roles including Justin Timberlake portraying Napster co-founder Sean Parker, The Social Network is a very well-done film, complete with excellent direction, lighting and timing.  The movie moves along at a fast pace, and although the plot is filled with complex twists and lots of elements, is fairly easy to follow.  The acting is superb, and I have no doubt that Eisenberg (and perhaps others, I’m thinking Sorkin is a shoo-in) will receive recognition for their work come awards season.  The ending of the film leaves the viewer with a lack of closure (if you see or have seen the movie, you’ll understand what I mean).  Overall, however, The Social Network is a dramatic film that is interspersed with humor, whit and a level of sophistication not often seen in today’s movies.

4 out of 5 stars.

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