Tony Johnson, Arts & Entertainment Editor
A generation is reborn through The Social Network, a modern masterpiece from the dark mind of director David Fincher. It tells of the origins of facebook, but also shows where a generation’s transformation began.
From the opening scene that introduces Mark Zuckerberg (an impeccable Jesse Eisenberg) before there was facebook, to the hours after his girlfriend Erica (a brief but striking presence from Rooney Mara) dumped him the movie introduces the concept of loneliness and isolation. Zuckerberg decided to let out his grief by creating “FaceMash,” a site rating the Harvard girls on their looks, a site that got so many hits in one night the Harvard network crashed. This caught the attention of the Winklevoss twins (both played by Armie Hammer with the assistance of body double Josh Pence) who want to create a social networking site exclusive to people with Harvard.edu email addresses. Then it was history…
Or so most of us facebook users think. The Social Network dives even more deep down into the minds behind facebook, but also the lives behind facebook. The amazingly fluid script by Aaron Sorkin (borrowing from Ben Mezrich’s book, The Accidental Billionaires) and the entire cast bring the origin story to life. Justin Timberlake gives it his all as Napster founder Sean Parker, and gives a refreshing performance unlike any other this year. Jesse Eisenberg is often criticized for playing the same character in each film he does. Yes he still plays a socially awkward, reserved nerd, but in The Social Network he is a relentless version of that, and even has the audience on his side no matter how much of a jerk he really is.
However, it is Andrew Garfield that gives a revelation of a performance. As co-founder Eduardo Saverin, Garfield plays a person that was left cold and in the dark by his best friend. Yet we never seem to know for sure if Saverin was “suing his best friend for $600 million” because he was jealous of his best friend’s success that he helped him get or because his best friend betrayed him. Garfield plays the only person who doesn’t seem like a “villain,” and one we can genuinely feel sorry for. He goes through all the motions and emotions that are expressed in the film, making him the soul of the movie.
This movie would not exist if it wasn’t for the birth of facebook. Our generation would not be the same if it wasn’t for the birth of facebook. This movie is perfect and special because after watching, it feels like we’ve watched a whole decade go by, which we have. From the birth of it in a Harvard dorm room in the fall of 2003, to over 500 million users there are today, this movie shows how much a generation can transform in 7 years, and leaves a haunting realization of how many true friends you actually have, and how easy it is to forget about them. It’s a perfect film that deserves attention from both users and non-users of facebook. A+