Movie of the Day: The Social Network
What It Is
The rise and rise of Facebook from its humble beginnings as a misogynistic Harvard prank to the tech behemoth we know and have mixed feelings about today. The film focuses on the splintering of the friendship between Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg) and Eduardo Saverin (Andrew Garfield), as well as Zuckerberg's on-campus and courtroom conflicts with the Winklevoss twins (Armie Hammer).
What's Cool About It
Since the Internet became a thing, and well before it became an integral part of everyday life around the world, Hollywood had tried with mixed success to chronicle its rise on film. For every pleasantly enjoyable Sneakers, there were two so-bad-and-off-the-mark-they're-maybe-good attempts a la The Net and Hackers; for every Matrix, there were two Matrix sequels, not to mention a Johnny Mnemonic. David Fincher's movie, with an Oscar winning script by Aaron Sorkin, is perhaps the first true masterpiece about digital culture. By focusing on the human effects of dynamic technological change as its happening from those wittingly and unwittingly responsible for it, The Social Network was able to overcome the "people typing furiously on keyboards" clichés that plague the tech movie genre.
Why It's Still Relevant Almost a Decade Later
While the cool kids may be using Snapchat and Instagram (which is still technically Facebook) and other apps/platforms/dick pic sharing services anyone over the age of 25 knows nothing about, Zuckerberg was in the news recently. When this movie was released in 2010, much of the debate concerned how accurate and fair Fincher and Sorkin's fictionalized depiction of Zuckerberg's character was. Defenders claimed the movie was a hatchet job. Critics viewed him as a modern day Charles Foster Kane. Younger audiences admired Zuckerberg as a passionate dreamer, willing to sacrifice anything to achieve his goal; older audiences saw a robber cyber-baron who lacked even the hollowed out values of a Corleone family member. Given the recent developments in the IRL saga of Facebook, is it time to reevaluate this dramatized version of the company's birth?
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