Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Social Network (Rhoades)

“Social Network” Gets In Your Face

Reviewed by Shirrel Rhoades

Me and 27,944 other Facebook members indicated that we “like” the new film, “The Social Network.” It’s only one of the 137 things I’ve “liked” so far on Facebook.

Of Facebook’s half-billion members, I’m friends with only 500. That makes me feel like a hermit. Maybe I’m not very social.

“The Social Network” is being called the most anticipated film of the year. Maybe so. It’s about Mark Zuckerberg, the billionaire Harvard dropout who created Facebook with a little help from his friends. But as the saying goes, with friends like these who needs enemies? The ambitious geek found himself engaged in a $600 million lawsuit.

“Everyone believes they are doing the right thing,” observes one of the film’s stars. “Everyone sees themselves as the good guy.”

“The Social Network” is currently friending new audiences at the Tropic Cinema.
Facebook – and social networking – is an interesting phenomenon. Friends and wannabe friends share their most mundane moments (”I’m having a cup of coffee”). Or their innermost feelings (“I hate my job. Will this day ever end?”). It serves as a public journal for participants.

One person out of every fourteen in the world belongs to Facebook.

At its core, “The Social Network” is the story of an outsider wanting to belong. Ironically, in creating this “largest engine of social interaction in the history of mankind,” friendships are lost and relationships break down.

Jesse Eisenberg (a talented young actor who’s had minor roles in “The Squid and the Whale” and “Solitary Man”) stars as Zuckerberg. He’s joined by Andrew Garfield (who will play the title role in the reboot of the “Spider-Man” franchise) as spurned co-founder Eduardo Saverin. Singer Justin Timberlake does well as the creator of Napster. And Rooney Mara (who has been tapped to play Lisbeth Salander in the Hollywood remake of “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo”) is cast as Zuckerberg’s ex-girlfriend.

Director David Fincher (”Fight Club,” “Seven,” “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”) says, “There’s an ironic story behind this thing that’s about friendship and the need to connect. The fact that it was Facebook brought an interesting context for this simple drama of acrimony.”

Based on Ben Mezrich’s book “The Accidental Billionaires,” the screenplay was written by Aaron Sorkin (the wordsmith who gave us TV’s “West Wing” and penned the scripts for “A Few Good Men” and “Charlie Wilson’s War”).

Fincher and Sorkin were an odd combination to pair for a film. “What David is most known for is that he’s peerless as a visual director, and I write people talking in rooms,” acknowledges Sorkin.

More than just the story of a hacker who became the world’s youngest billionaire, producer Scott Rudin sees the film as dealing with such important social questions as “The nature of communication. What is friendship?

What is the nature of loneliness?”

Mark Zuckerberg has a more personal viewpoint. Not happy that “The Social Network” portrays him in a sometimes unflattering light, he says, “I just wished that nobody made a movie of me while I was still alive.”
[from Solares Hill]

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