Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Film I Love: The Social Network

Film Poster


Opening scene with Eisenberg and Mara



Armie Hammer as one of the Winklevoss twins



I know that many people are quite skeptical about this 'Facebook' movie but I have to say it is really really well done. There are many elements of the film that are done so perfectly from the casting, to the soundtrack, cinematography and editing. Now, I am not sure how much of it is true and how much is fiction but, director David Fincher and screenwriter Aaron Sorkin did an exemplary job of creating an entertaining yet dramatic film. One of the most interesting things that they did with this film was centering it around a relatively unlikable, uncool character. Mark Zuckerberg is never made out to be an outgoing party guy (as the real Zuckeberg has tended to claim). He was just a nerdy unsociable guy focused on the success of his creation.

The casting was unexpected but works fantastically. I was worried that Jesse Eisenberg would be the new Michael Cera. (Not that I don’t enjoy Michael Cera but he really tends to only play one character, Michael Cera.) Eisenberg pulled out a character reminiscent of his role in The Squid and the Whale. As Zuckerberg, he is cold, anti-social and typically unaware of social graces. This is not a character that is trying to be liked and it is great. I must also give kudos to Armie Hammer who plays the Winklevoss twins who claim to have conceived the Facebook idea and later sued Zuckerberg. Actor Josh Spence was cast to help play the twins as well but it was Hammer doing all of the vocal acting as only his face is used to portray the identical brothers. This effect was fantastic and flawless. The others actors also fit nicely among Eisenberg and did an impressive job.

With the wrong soundtrack this film really could have succumb to the cheesy teen drama genre. Instead they use Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross who set the tone of a darker, more serious film. This is evident at the start of the film as the main character sets off on his journey back to his dorm room. He is filled with anger, resentment and a thirst for revenge which the soundtrack highlights beautifully.

The soundtrack also compliments the creative cinematography that is used throughout the film. It is typically dark and highlights the prestige and exclusivity of the Harvard experience. I have heard some complaints about how the story jumps back and forth from the depositions back to Zuckerberg’s days at Harvard while he created Facebook or TheFacebook as it was originally called. I thought this was an interesting approach that took some skillful editing but I must admit that it made for an anticlimactic ending to the film. You already knew where it was going.

All in all a very satisfying and intriguing film with a lesser known cast doing a top quality job.

Extras:

I did find one article that outlines some of the truths and fictions between The Social Network and Zuckerberg’s real life. Beware that there are spoilers! Check it out here.

Here is an interesting interview with Armie Hammer about his playing the role of real-life twins.

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