David Fincher’s Facebook Film

David Fincher’s Facebook Film

Static Mass Rating: 5/5

Release Date: Oct 15th, 2010
Certificate: 12A
Running Time: 120 minutes

Director: David Fincher
Screenwriter: Aaron Sorkin
Cast: Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, Rashida Jones, Justin Timberlake, Rooney Mara, Brenda Song, Joseph Mazzello, Malese Jow, Max Minghella, Caleb Landry Jones

From it’s opening scenes with Harvard University student Zuckerberg and girlfriend Erica (Rooney) sitting in a bar having a discussion about college life which gradually escalates into an argument, it dawns on me the irony of a social networking site created by someone who seems aspergic in every sense of the word. Zuckerberg strikes me a young man with a brilliant mind for complex algorithms but no basic understanding of human relationships. This can be true for many who have Aspergers Syndrome; the inability to exist outside of one’s self can make it extremely difficult to have relationships where empathy, eye contact, body language, tone and listening play large roles.

Based on the 2009 novel The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook by Ben Mezrich, The Social Network follows the early days of Facebook and how it went on to make its founder Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg) one of the youngest billionaires in the world. The film also focuses on the lawsuits filed against Zuckerberg by Eduardo Saverin (Andrew Garfield) and the Winklevoss twins (Armie Hammer).

The story of Facebook begins in February of 2004 with the launch of what was then known as “thefacebook.com” at Harvard University, a site programmed by Zuckerberg, just 19 years old at the time. Within its first month, more than half of Harvard was registered to use it, and by December of 2005, the site had 5.5 million student users, who posted their most intimate personal details – everything from their favourite songs to who they were dating and more – for any and all to view.

Zuckerberg was at first approached by the Winklevoss twins, Cameron and Tyler, both Harvard students and members of the rowing team, to work on a website called the Harvard Connection. Zuckerberg takes the idea and goes to his best friend Eduardo Saverin who gives him the start-up money and assumes the role of CFO. They launch thefacebook.com and it takes off beyond their wildest dreams. When they bring Sean Parker (Napster co-founder) on board, he suggests dropping the “The” and calling it “Facebook” and gradually Saverin is forced out of the company as Parker brings in sponsors from the Silicon Valley. This all sets Zuckerberg up for a series of lawsuits filed against him. Their varying testimonies becomes the focus of the film.

Coming back again to the idea of Zuckerberg and his inability to deal with his relationships, whether romantic, business or with friends; I do wonder, had he been able to deal with them, would Facebook be what it is today? Currently the site has over 500 million active users with the average user having 130 friends. There’s no doubt that Facebook has changed the way we live and interact on the internet with each other, but on the other side it also means that for the amount of time we spend on it every month (700 billion minutes) we could be out and among people in real life; looking them in the eyes as we chat, paying attention to the body language and reacting to gestures but most of all, just being sociable. Has Zuckerberg made us all a bit aspergic in the long run?

In many ways I see The Social Network as the true sequel to Wall Street. The setting is relevant for the information age we live in and the millions of dollars which Zuckerberg was being sued for puts it perfectly in Wall Street territory. Definitely go and see it and if you tell your friends about it, whether it’s in real life or with a status update, it’s up to you.

The making of The Social Network (Part 1)
The making of The Social Network (Part 2)

Let's talk... » Add your comment!

  1. It’s a true story and quite a high concept film about how this website came about; this is often the perfect recipe for a terrible movie. But The Social Network is really great, Fincher is a genius!

Leave Your Reply

Required fields are marked *. Your details will never be shared.