Sunday, October 10, 2010
I finally saw THE SOCIAL NETWORK--and kept saying to myself as I watched, why didn't I think of that??? Is it worth four stars? Maybe 3 1/2. Is it engrossing? Yes... especially the speed and acuteness of the dialogue, and the maniacal focus and narcissism of the protagonist, Harvard sophomore Mark Zuckerberg(brilliantly embodied by Jesse Eisenberg)who we are led to believe created FACEBOOK--the ultimate internet connector-- after he was abruptly disconnected by his girlfriend. He seals (steals?)the concept when his vanity is further wounded by the Winklevoss twins, a pair of blindingly blond Harvard crew gods who look down their aquiline noses at the nerdy computer whiz.
"THE FACEBOOK" takes off, then is further tweaked ("Lose the 'THE.'") by "Napster" Sean Parker(Justin Timberlake in a sly, funny take on the nap"star")and the rest is history: gazillions of hits and billions of dollars.
David Fincher directs screenwriter Aaron Sorkin's ingenious script. Ingenious because of its intricate structure which propels a simple story into an intriguing maze of chronology, personalities, and hidden motives. Every scene is "Sorkinized"-- pumped with the screenwriter's own obsessiveness; Sorkin admits to taking 8 to 10 showers a day and talks a blue streak. When we first meet him, Zuckerberg attempts to pummel his date into submission (the lovely Rooney Mara, soon to star in THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO) with compulsively self-absorbed questions, smart-ass asides, and infuriating "know-it-all-ness," like an idiot savant on speed. This opening scene alone is worth the price of admission.
Whether or not Zuckerberg is the vindictive wunderkind who ruthlessly disposed of his co-creator Edouardo Saverin (as the film cagily implies) I do not know. Sorkin's script is deliberately opaque in this regard and that's a flaw, that and the way Eisenberg's face goes slack whenever his character is called to account. How convenient--or lazy of Sorkin not to commit. I also thought the sight of Harvard coeds casually stripping on tabletops in wood paneled dorm rooms a bit of a stretch.
But THE SOCIAL NETWORK does a good job of stripping this true story down to its bare essentials and entertaining us with a modern fable of no small net worth.
Posted by Joyce Kulhawik at 12:08 PM