The Social Network is the story of the early days of Facebook and the egos, greed and rivalry that comes hand in hand with the billion-dollar idea. It’s based on real life events, but the people in the know claim it’s been ‘Hollywoodised’ to some degree … which has to be expected really. In case you didn’t know, Mark Zuckerberg, a Gen Y Harvard student, built Facebook with some college buddies in his dorm room in 2004. However, like most great ideas that turn global and are worth an absolute packet, you’re bound to tread on a few toes to get to the top.
The film tracks the Facebook story from the beginning, highlighting Zuckerberg’s programming genius with his Facemash site (similar to Hot or Not, but rating college students instead) that scooped an amazing 22,000 visits in its first four hours online. While he gets a Harvard slap on the wrist, his new found college status pushes him in the sights of twins Cameron Winklevoss and Tyler Winklevoss (both played by Armie Hammer). They approach Zuckerberg to program a social networking idea. He agrees to ‘help’ them and then turns the idea into a much better idea: The Facebook (he later ditches ‘the’).
Zuckerberg, brilliantly portrayed by Jesse Eisenberg, comes across as a highly intelligent, IT geek with poor social skills. Therefore, it’s rather ironic he pioneered the world’s most popular social networking site that’s all about connection, communication and friendships. He burns his best mate, partner and financier Eduardo Saverin, played by Andrew Garfield. He becomes chums and business partners with Napster founder Sean Parker, portrayed by Justin Timberlake. And he loses the girl (don’t worry, it’s not a spoiler, it happens in the first scene!).
The Social Network will not only interest Gen Y audiences, but Gen X and anyone business minded will take a message home from this top-rating film. It’s set in college, but most scenes take place in lawyer’s offices where Zuckerberg’s eccentric quips bring a touch of humour to this drama. Zuckerberg comes across as a complex character, who you neither love or hate, but who you do slightly understand. And now, he’s the world’s youngest billionaire. Not bad right?
I rate it 4 out of 5 stars. What did you think of the film?
Yours in social media,
PS: To see what the social media critics have to say, Mashable’s movie review is worth a read. As is The Herald Sun review which gives the film 4.5 stars.