Saturday, January 22, 2011

An Engaging Movie


Producer: Columbia Tristar
Director: David Fincher
Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Rooney Mara, Armie Hammer, Andrew Garfield and others
Rating: **** (4 of 5)
Pros: Great emotions, strong screenplay
Cons: Difficult to understand many parts without subtitles

Facebook. Need I say more? The social networking revolution has hit virtually every part of the world. But the story of how it began, in a little room in Harvard, is something that very few people know. Until now.

The Social Network is a courtroom drama-cum-biography of Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eaisenberg), the rather unsocial billionaire and majority owner of Facebook. From a little prank to get back at a girl for dumping him in the middle of a date to meeting venture capitalists in Silicon Valley, co-founders Mark and Eduardo Saverin (Andrew Garfield) work together to create the world's largest social networking site. Well, almost together.

The simplicity with which the movie shunts between the past and the present ensures that the viewer is never confused. However, for a good part of the movie, Mark is absolutely incomprehensible without subtitles. Forget the geeks programming stuff, even his regular speech has been over-done by the director. The best acting came from Andrew Garfield as Eduardo, the co-founder who was cheated and deceived and ended up as a plaintiff and defendant in two cases being held simultaneously!

The broken friendship between the friends Eduardo and Mark is the hallmark of the movie. Although Mark makes Eduardo the CFO, he is never fully able to let Facebook be shared by someone else. In fact, at the end, Mark is left as a villain. The director was clever here by not trying to redeem him but just show how it all ended.

The movie looked and felt pretty realistic, with Eisenberg looking and playing the part of Zuckerberg to perfection. The most striking scene is Eduardo asking Mark how he could cheat his only friend: a scene that truly resonates with the viewer.

Does this movie deserve a recommendation? Absolutely! If not for the great acting and the high drama in the courtroom (which itself is worth its weight in gold), then surely for the knowledge of how an online revolution came to be. (OTFS)

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