“You don’t get to 500 million friends without making a few enemies”
Most would agree it would be tough to think back seven years ago and imagine our lives without Facebook. It seems that in less than a decade the creation of the infamous social network site has now come to dominate our lives considerably and change the way we communicate. Suffice to say, it must have been inevitable that one day someone would have to make a film about it.
“The Social Network”, finally hit the big screen in October last year. Holding down the top spot at the box office for weeks, the long awaited film about the creation of social networking site, Facebook, on its opening weekend in the US, took a mega $23 million, and after, is thought to have raked in over $5 million in UK box office sales. David Fincher soon took the Golden Globe for Best Director, along with eight Oscar nominations, including best picture. So I decided to ask a few of those in Bournemouth, who had eagerly awaited the film’s debut just what they thought of the notorious “Social Network” story.
Ben Martin, 21, a second year Journalism student saw it the night it came out and reviews: “It could have been really boring but David Fincher is a great director and the script was really interesting.” On Mark’s character he added: “They made him too nice. I think he was a bigger asshole than that. There was too much scope to feel sorry for him.” He likens them to “the geeks you’d find in a brat pack film- they’re maladjusted, socially inept and misogynistic. It was very realistic.” Justin Timberlake he thought, was “right on the mark” for Sean Parker.
Tom Clements, 19, Music Production student, disagreed and thought: “JT should stick to making music not movies.”
Flora Byford, 18, first year Journo, thought Jesse Eisenberg’s portrayal really “captured the awkward geeky teenager” and revealed she didn’t realize how intelligent you had to be to set up an internet site. “The whole film showed just how big Facebook is, it’s completely worldwide and I think it has overtaken most people’s lives now.”
Scripted by Aaron Sorkin and directed by David Fincher, the tale of friendship, trust and endeavour culminates around a non-linear chronology which constantly cuts between two lawsuits, revealing the tale of jealousy and betrayal behind the success of the site and which gives the film its strap line: “You don’t get to 500 million friends without making a few enemies.”
There is an irony within the film that the creator of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg, (Jesse Eisenberg), the computer geek behind “The Social Network” is in fact rather socially inept himself, which is clear in the opening scene when his girlfriend (Rooney Mara) breaks up with him, claiming she’s not dumping him because he’s a geek but because he’s an “asshole”.
The mastermind behind the creation, a Harvard University computer nerd, is brutally rebuffed and in spite begins to blog online and sets up a crude website called fasemash.com. After receiving “22,000 hits in two hours”, the site comes to the attention of the Winklevoss twins (Armie Hammer), who approach Mark with their idea of setting up an internal Harvard networking site called Harvard Connection.
Mark has an almost identical idea that he maintains doesn’t use any of the same programming codes as the Winklevoss’s and so with the help of best friend Eduardo Saverin (Andrew Garfield), Dustin Moskovitz (Joseph Mazzello) and Chris Hughes (Patrick Mapel), sets about to send The Facebook global.
The Facebook expands from Harvard campus to Stanford where it comes under the radar of Sean Parker (Justin Timberlake), the dazzling and scatty entrepreneur behind Napster, who over lunch becomes involved and advises: “Drop the ‘The’. Just Facebook. It’s Cleaner.”
Eventually the success of Facebook sees people logging on across the Atlantic, including a rowing scene at Henley Ragatta, where the Winklevoss twins decide no longer can they maintain their silent suffering but must take legal action against Zuckerberg.
Two lawsuits later, in a scene that sees Zuckerberg having transcended from his hallowed Harvard halls to Facebook’s head office in California, where he receives Facebook business cards entitled, “I’m CEO bitch”. Garfield is much more likeable and by the end we are rooting for him when he vows to get revenge in a bitter endnote: “I’m not coming back for 30 per cent, I’m coming back for everything.”
The contest between The King’s Speech and The Social Network at the Golden Globes saw a contest between old and new. The former nominated for 7 awards and latter 6 with Colin Firth receiving Best Actor and Director Tom Hooper stealing away Best Director at the Academy Awards. However, The Social Network I admire for doing something new and taking on a genre all of its own- period drama v contemporary history- a phenomenon in itself.
About hannahsmithsonHi I'm Hannah. I've just graduated from Bournemouth University with a first class honors in Multimedia Journalism and am about to adventure off to the other side of the world to work in the Falkland Islands for FITV. I am excited about my future prospects in Journalism and here is my blog where I document most of my experiences. Please get in touch if you want to chat...
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