The film version of Mark Zuckerberg, co-founder of Facebook, makes Curb Your Enthusiasm’s Larry David look like Mister Rogers. Zuckerberg is portrayed as an arrogant, self-centered, douchebag who has no sense of morals, ethics, or social mores. He’s passive-aggressive, an asshole, and just not a very nice man.
And that’s why he’s a billionaire and we’re not.
The Social Network is a gripping and intriguing drama that takes us through the initial stages of how Facebook was formed and through the legal battles faced by its co-founder ever since. It’s part biopic and part cautionary tale.
The film makes one thing abundantly clear: How we treat people almost always comes back to haunt us. And haunt it does as Mark finds himself confronted by “friends” and other from his past who were hurt, screwed-over, and even ripped-off by the guy. This is not a man you would likely want as a friend, even if it was just on Facebook.
Scripted by Aaron Sorkin, who created The West Wing, Sports Night, and Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, the film has rapid-fire dialogue, a fast-paced narrative, and shows the ugly truth about what it takes to be the world’s youngest billionaire. Director David Fincher (Fight Club, Benjamin Button) does a superb job, and his direction of the cast and the overall tone and feel of the movie are perfect for the subject matter.
It was hard for me to have any sympathy for Zuckerberg, and I only felt sorry or any real emotion toward his screwed-over chief-financial-officer Eduardo Saverin (Andrew Garfield, the next Spider-Man). He was the only character who came across as a human being and not some one-dimensional jerk over the course of the film.
Jesse Eisenberg does a great job portraying Zuckerberg, and the rest of the cast is stellar as well (yes, even Justin Timberlake). It had to be fun for these people to play such cold-hearted and insensitive human beings. The scary part is that these characters are based on real people. Yikes.
The Social Network is not a feel-good movie. You won’t leave the theater with a warm feeling, you won’t leave liking this guy, and you might even consider deleting your Facebook account (a few of the folks I went with made this declaration, though they have yet to do so). However, I think this is one of the film’s strengths. It makes you think, re-evaluate, and even wonder how you would handle a similar situation.
What was also interesting about the story and the character of Zuckerberg is that he was an arrogant jerk and asshole BEFORE he started Facebook, and he was even more of one AFTER. So the character doesn’t change over the course of the film, another chilling aspect of the main character. Is he a sociopath? A narcissist? Or is he just pure evil? You be the judge.
I’ll be honest that I did not like the movie after the first few minutes, but it slowly grew on me. By the end I was fully engaged and interested in what would result from all the back-stabbing and sniping that took place behind-the-scenes at the world’s most popular social networking site. I recommend you check it out and let me know what you think.
Do you have sympathy for Mark Zuckerberg? Does this change your opinion of Facebook? What are you thoughts on the film? Leave and comment and let us know!
The Social Network is in theaters nationwide. Click here for showtimes and locations.