The Social Network

Watched The Social Network, the film about the birth of Facebook, on Monday. I had to watch it, addicted as I am to FB. I don’t remember who introduced me to the phenomenon any more, only that once I started I couldn’t stop. It was extremely useful and extremely addictive! I could find friends that I had lost touch with over the years, share pictures, make new friends, and do a million other things from having my future predicted to farming, all from one page in this magical online universe. Akin to living out your friendships online, sometimes almost like living your life online depending on how often and how much information you chose to reveal, which I gather was how the whole thing started. And although my addiction is now under control, FB is now an indispensable part of my Life…it increases my blog views, keeps me informed on birthdays, allows me to keep in touch with friends all around to globe and lets me tend my virtual farm 😉

The cast and the real people!

An interesting movie with an excellent cast. Jesse Eisenberg as Mark Zuckerberg, Andrew Garfield as his best and only friend and CFO, Eduardo Saverin & Justin Timberlake as Sean Parker, co-founder of Napster are brilliant. Timberlake especially is quite the charmer in his role as a spurious mentor of sorts. He impresses the gauche Mark, with his high-flying ways, nonchalant attitude and panache. His paranoia, drug addiction and vengeance, he keeps carefully hidden until much later. I love the scene in the restaurant, their first meeting, when Sean is late, unapologetic and utterly charming! Over appletinis and hor d’oeuvres, he treats them to the ‘Life & Times of Sean Parker’ and shows them how much their business is actually worth given the proper approach. He also leaves them with a cool piece of advice…“Get rid of the ‘The’” he says, “Call it Facebook. Clean.”

Jesse Eisenberg is excellent as the genius, gauche teen with an appalling lack of social graces. He is rude and obtuse, which is evident in the movie’s opening sequence where his girlfriend dumps him. It was rather amusing to see how even in the 21st century, great deeds & ideas are more often than not spurred on by rejection in love! War it still is, only the turf has changed – earlier physical and now virtual! Mark develops what goes on to become the 21st century phenomenon we are all familiar with, making several enemies and losing his only friend along the way. He doesn’t come across as a very likeable guy and the only time I feel for him is towards the end, when he tells his lawyer’s assistant, “I’m not really a bad guy.” Geez Mark…could have fooled me! This, right after it’s revealed how Saverino’s stake has been watered down to 0.3% from his original 34, all with Mark’s blessings or at least concurrence, one assumes. Still, he looks at his most vulnerable then, a lonely friendless billionaire! Yet, it’s hard to ignore that he is also a hacker, guilty of intellectual theft, betrayer of friendship and to the last, unapologetic for everything he’s done. Perhaps ‘Bad’ is a strong word…immature would be more like it, impulsive, petty, jealous and looking for validation like every other teen. It drives home the point about genius being as sensitive & susceptible, if not more, to rejection and the need for acceptance into the mainstream. Having the smarts doesn’t always make Life any easier to live, except for the billions I guess. They at least guarantee material comfort, whatever’s left from paying everyone that sues you!

I was impressed with young Andrew Garfield and his sensitive portrayal as the best friend, the one who believes in Mark’s genius, and willingly puts up the finance needed for the start-up. Mark on the other hand is a user…who accepts Eduardo’s support and money, but is also jealous of his acceptance into the exclusive Phoenix Club, that he himself aspires to. Typical teen stuff! Rather disappointingly, the movie offers no personal background on the characters. No family appears at all which is rather odd. Surely Zukerberg’s family would have been around during his two lawsuits? I understand that the movie is adapted from the book ‘The Accidental Billionaires’ by Ben Mezrich and that no one from Facebook was involved in the film-making process. It’s therefore not an authorized account, one might argue, but certainly a fascinating one!

A well scripted, pacy movie with great performances from the  ensemble cast! Facebook this one 🙂

Next change: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I!

p.s. Am happy to report, this was my second ‘solo’ movie 🙂 I’m beginning to enjoy the ‘solo’ experience. The only thing I missed was the bookshop, which I loved to browse before the movie. It has rather sadly and mysteriously disappeared from the INOX premises 😦

8 thoughts on “The Social Network

  1. Hi Harsha:

    I saw this movie a few weeks ago…I actually wondered if Zuckerberg was autistic – he didn’t have much of a clue about social graces! I loved Eduardo, and felt very sorry for him. I hated Parker on sight…no redeeming qualities whatsoever…a “player” in the worst sense of the word.

    It might be interesting to meet the real people, to see how accurate the portrayal was.

    Hugs,
    Wendy

    1. I was wondering about that too Wendy!! He really comes across as obnoxious. I was quite surprised someone like Erica actually dated him for a while!!

      It would be interesting to meet them and see what they’re up to. I’ve always wondered what it is that teenage billionaires really do with themselves. Maybe I’m old fashioned, but I don’t think it’s likely to be anything good!

      Hugs, H.

  2. Oh good. I’m so glad you reminded me about this movie. I was absolutely rabid about wanting to see it, but then the movie release came and went and it fell of my radar. I’ll have to add it to my Netflix queue to make sure that doesn’t happen again.

    I’m so glad you enjoyed it. Harsha, maybe you should try to get a gig writting movie reviews!

    1. Do watch it, Maura. You think? I think I’d enjoying doing reviews but might disqualified on the grounds that I am very selective of the movies I do watch and only write about those I enjoyed! Still, worth a try. Thanks for the idea 🙂

      Hugs, H.

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