"If you guys were the inventors of Facebook, you'd have invented Facebook."
In 2003, Harvard undergraduate Mark Zuckerberg (Eisenberg) was struggling to make an impact at one of the prestigious universities in the US. A computer programming genius, he makes a splash at the college when he crashes the computer network after designing a website that compares all of the girls on campus. This stunt brings him to the attention of Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss who have a plan to make a dating website for Harvard grads but Mark sees this as a limited idea and take it further to recreate the full college experience online. With a loan of $1000 from his best friend and new CFO Eduardo Saverin (Garfield), he creates his own site called ‘The Facebook’ which quickly becomes one of the most talked about and visited sites online.
When it comes to defining media and technological events that have defined a decade and even a generation, the world changing impact of social network websites will be one of those events but their journey to cultural dominance is a fascinating one and ‘Facebook’ has the biggest story to tell.
Film has always been a way of documenting how the lives of ordinary people can be affected by very few individuals in the world. Whether it be political, religious, cultural, social, financial, fashionable, artistic, musical, sporting or just an approach to life, film has a way of reflecting the times with live in or revealing how our current way of living came to be and the advent of social networking changed the world forever. The questions you have to ask however are how did that all come about, who was responsible and how did it affect them?
While MySpace, Bebo, Friends Reunited, Twitter, Flickr, Windows Live, PSN and Ping all vie for our attention via our computers, TVs, games consoles and mobile devices, there is one social networking site that dominates and that site is Facebook. With over six hundred million people users and counting, Facebook is the social networking service that most of the world uses but it the story of its creation that is one of fascinating tales of the modern technological era. A story of wanting to fit in, friendship, creation and imagination but also of greed, betrayal and impact of a strong influence, the creation of Facebook is more of a commercial soap opera than a simple story of a geek inventing something that everyone wanted and filmmakers David Fincher and writer Aaron Sorkin saw this as a great cinematic tale.
Based on the book ‘The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook, A Tale of Sex, Money, Genius and Betrayal’ by Ben Mezrich and screenwriter Aaron Sorkin’s own research into the story, ‘The Social Network’ charts the rise of Mark Zuckerberg from Harvard University programming geek to one of the youngest billionaires in the world. The tag line of the film says it all ‘You don’t make 500 million friends without making some enemies’, and during its creation in 2003 Mark and the people involved in first step into social networking never knew how big Facebook would become and that was the problem. Zuckerberg’s drive behind the site came from an initial idea of a dating website for Harvard graduates by Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss but Zuckerburg saw much more than that. Instead of just creating a dating site, he could recreate the whole College social experience on a site and using the initial investment from the Winklevoss’s and his friend Eduardo Saverin he went on to create the template for the site over six hundred million people use today. The problem is that as Facebook exploded and became an online sensation, Winklevoss’s sued saying that Zuckerberg stole their idea and his friend Eduardo Saverin took him to court for his percentage of the huge profits the sites was making after been forced out when the site started to become big. We have all seen stories of the emergence of big companies or corporations before but never one that happened so quickly and affected so many people.
For the story of Facebook, the first name you would think of to helm such a project probably would not have been David Fincher. The man behind films like ‘Se7en’, ‘Fight Club’, ‘The Game’, ‘Panic Room’, ‘Zodiac’ and ‘The Curious Case of Benjamin Button’ would not be everyone’s first choice for a character driven look at how a computer geek became a billionaire but he is. Throwing away his trademark flamboyance with camera movement and the visual aesthetics of a scene to bring us a film that is driven by the story and performance of the actors involved. This is all due to the script by Aaron Sorkin. The writer of ‘A Few Good Men’, ‘The American President’, ‘Charlie Wilson’s War’ but most importantly the critically acclaimed TV series ‘The West Wing’, Aaron Sorkis has created one the most dialogue rich and engaging screenplays to come along in a very long time. Drawing you in from the start, Sorkin’s script makes what could have been just a story or geeks and jocks squabbling over money into a fascinating insight into a modern business that creates very young and powerful billionaires.
The script would be nothing without the actors to breath life into these real life characters. Leading the line is Jesse Eisenberg as Mark Zuckerberg. The always-engaging actor has made a career from playing slightly geeky characters in films like ‘Roger Dodger’, ‘The Squid and the Whale’, ‘Adventureland’ and ‘Zombieland’ but this is his chance to show that geeks really do inherit the earth. Up and coming British actor Andrew Garfield also gets the chance to show his talent as Eduardo Saverin, Mark’s best friend and the person he pushed out of Facebook. Stealing the film however is the performance of Justin Timberlake as Napster creator and Facebook investor Sean Parker. Many a pop star has tried their hand at acting, with very mixed results but Justin Timberlake shows that he has real potential to become an actor you should take seriously.
‘The Social Network’ is a fascinating insight into the creation of a social phenomenon. Brilliantly written, fantastically played and subtly directed, this is a film that is will raise debate and enthrall you throughout, making you think that if only you could come up with a revolutionary idea and what would you do or sacrifice to make it successful?
Blu-ray and DVD Bonus Features Include:
- Audio Commentary with Director David Fincher
- Audio Commentary with Writer Aaron Sorkin, Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, Justin Timberlake, Armie Hammer and Josh Pence
- How Did They Ever Make a Movie of Facebook? - Four-Part Feature-Length Documentary on the Making of the Film, from the Script to the Screenplay to Casting to Production
- Featurette: Angus Wall, Kirk Baxter and Ren Klyce on Post – Editors Angus Wall and Kirk Baxter and Sound Designer Ren Klyce Discuss Editing the Film and the Different Layers They Created Using Different Takes, Angles and Sound Effects
- Featurette: Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross and David Fincher on the Score – David Fincher, Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross Discuss the Process of Creating the Score
- Featurette: Jeff Cronenweth and David Fincher on the Visuals – David Fincher and DP Jeff Cornenweth Discuss Creating the Look for the Film
- Featurette: Swarmatron - Atticus Rose Explains the Swarmatron Sound Machine Used to Create Parts of the Score
- Featurette: In the Hall of the Mountain King: Music Exploration – Multi-Angle Music Exploration which Allows Viewers to Watch the Same Scene
- Four Different Ways with Different Layers of Music
- Ruby Skye VIP Room: Multi-Angle Scene Breakdown
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