Interweaving time lines proves an effective way of presenting the somewhat painful but hell of a lot of fun, birth of “Facebook“. Love them or hate them, social networking sites are here to stay, their tentacles spreading further and wider every passing day.
Jesse Eisenberg both looks and certainly acts like the Mark Zuckenberg that we know and inhabits the role in a way perhaps no one else could. Andrew Garfield (soon to be the new Spiderman) plays Eduardo Saverin, Mark’s only friend, Garfield here displaying real acting ability.
The film claims no interaction or help from either Facebook or the man himself, therefore we must approach this story as “based on fact” or even worse, “inspired by true events”. Whatever it is, with an Oscar winning screenplay by Aaron Sorkin (of West Wing fame), this is tightly written and filmed with an inventive eye by Fincher.
Is it any fun? – absolutely.
We follow the creation of the site from humble beginnings at a very preppy Harvard, to the birth of the corporate behemoth that Facebook, however trendy & wacky it appears, has now become.
Social networking sites have not always been with us & most of the responsibility for their creation, can be directly attributed to Zuckenberg. As the movie tag line indicates – with 500 million friends you will make a few enemies. Based on the depictions in the film it is not difficult to see why, some characters being entirely justified in their enmity, together with those miffed they failed to board the gravy train in time.
The film is both fluid and exciting, presenting what might be considered a boring subject in a very digestible format. Zuckenberg is an interesting character, the film barely scratching the surface of the complexities he represents. Perhaps he really is entirely altruistic, with a real desire to make the world a better, friendlier, more connected place. Zuckenberg is famously disinterested in the money aspect, apart from the ability it provides to grow his concept further.
Many people see what he has achieved as a gross invasion of our diminishing privacy whose very boundaries shift on a daily basis. Perhaps the very term “private life” is in need of an overhaul, no such thing exists anymore, whether we like it or not.
Zuckenberg is presented here as someone almost bored with having to deal with pleasantries. He is brilliant in his chosen field, able to see solutions within seconds, whilst being intolerant of anyone not able to do.
Was the apparent treachery down to simple and childish jealously, played out with high priced lawyers and many millions of dollars. Maybe, but then when you are a billionaire in your twenties, maturity is always going to have to play catch up with your ambitions.
All performances are believable, Justin Timberlake as “Napsters” Sean Parker is surprisingly good, although the character does not emerge unscathed from the film. Fincher keeps the story humming along and the running time zips past, almost leaving you wanting more.
Certainly the end scene is very poignant and provides a neat coda to the opening effective disassembling of Zuckenberg’s character by his then girlfriend, Erica Albright (Rooney Mara). Now potentially a footnote in history, destined to be remembered as the girl who dumped Mark Zuckenberg.
Is the story heavily or lightly fictionalized, only a few people really know and they will never tell.
An interesting, thought provoking film, highly recommended even for those thinking, isn’t this just about computer coding and court cases?