Let’s Talk About: The Social Network
I recently learned that The Social Network is considered one of the best films of all time.
Famous film-makers like Quentin Tarantino have called it their favourite film of the 2010s, while TV and movie youtube channels like Pretty Much It rave about it and how frequently they re-watch it just for fun.
Although the first time I saw it (years ago) I was unconvinced, having recently re-watched it I can now understand. This movie is just so awesome.
I have a few theories about what makes this movie so thoroughly loved, so let’s talk about them.
First up, the score. If you’ve read my other blog post so far on Spotlight you’ll know how much scores excite me. The energy of this score is so fun and maintains this techno, innovative vibe to it that makes it feel like you’re also developing and coding high-tech algorithms.
Also, if you’re the kind of person who works best when listening to instrumental music, this score is easily one of the best to study to. It just makes you feel smarter.
The fact that this is a true story just hits so much harder than if this were all made up. Seeing the real life (with few dramatic liberties) conception of such a famous technological and social phenomenon, Facebook, play out is just mind-boggling. Especially considering the major drama that happened behind all of it.
Let’s just say, Facebook has been problematic since day one.
I love love love when chronological stories are told the way this one is. Jumping back and forth from the future legal proceedings to how it all actually went down in the past just keeps you on your toes the whole time.
This timeline does two things for the movie. It works great for dramatic effect when diving into the deep social conflict and narrative that this movie takes us through. In addition, it does great things for the character development. We manage to see several characters go through trial and error in real time and we also see them reflect on theirs and others actions as well. This works to make the audience more upset with Zuckerberg, feel pity for Saverin and frustrated with the entire character that is Sean Parker’s ego.
Last but not least, the performances in this film are so, so well-done. I really disliked Mark Zuckerberg. Which, notably, isn’t hard. I’m a communication student taught to criticize his every move when it comes to Facebook, whether or not it was in the past or happening today. But, Jesse Eisenberg really embodied the socially inept, narcissistic but at the same time socially helpless character that Zuckerberg was (and is today, frankly).
Andrew Garfield was also really good, and Justin Timberlake definitely surpassed my expectations (yeah, I know, I forgot he acted too).
And every time I review scenes from this movie I realize how stacked this cast was. Back in 2010 it probably wasn’t considered a “mind-blowing” cast but honestly the amount of people I recognize is telling. In fact, as I write this I literally just found out that Erica Albright (Zuckerberg’s original complicated love interest slash angry blog post inspiration) was played by Rooney Mara. Wild.
All in all, I definitely will be re-watching this film sometime soon.