Monday, September 23, 2019

I’d Love To Turn You On At The Movies #227 - The Social Network (2010, dir. David Fincher)

My freshman year in college I somehow got my hands on a screener copy of The Social Network. I think a friend of a friend was in film school at Auburn or maybe it just magically appeared in my apartment, I'm not sure. One thing I am sure of is that I watched the hell out of it. It grew on me the more I watched it. It is after all a movie about Facebook. But not just about Facebook, it's about all of the people Mark Zuckerberg stepped on the heads of on the way to the top. Screenwriter Aaron Sorkin weaves two complicated legal cases into an epic story scored by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross. The cast is all over the place and yet somehow it works perfectly to tell this story. In the end, it might just show you that if more people had stopped, watched this film and looked into the deceitful things Zuckerberg did to make Facebook, some of you wouldn’t have been so surprised when Facebook itself became a deceitful thing.
            The first thing that won me over about The Social Network was that Aaron Sorkin wrote the script. As a massive fan of The West Wing, I love a good Aaron Sorkin walk-n-talk peppered with iconic lines. What better than for him to write about than a bunch of nerds arguing in court over who came up with what. There is a reason he won an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay. Sorkin adapted Ben Mezrich’s book Accidental Billionaires into an amazing script that was easy to follow, interesting and still had enough tech lingo to be not dumbed down for the masses.
This film has a massive cast, some big names and some unknowns at the time. Jesse Eisenberg plays insufferable nerd Mark Zuckerberg like a super villain with absolutely no regard for people other than himself. Watching him tell an attorney for the Winklevoss twins that he doesn’t deserve his attention with not one single human emotion on his face was insane, seeing as I had only seen him in Adventureland before this. In the role of Eduardo Saverin (AKA best friend and cash cow for Zuckerberg), is the adorable Andrew Garfield, who even with his adorable face he still does the job of showing just how far Zuckerberg went to get to the top. You understand his frustration with the situation - Zuckerberg made him not a part of Facebook. Armie Hammer - man if only there really was two of him. But alas, there isn't. He plays the Winkelvoss twins as two big dumb (but not that dumb, because they go to Harvard) jocks and still gives each twin their own personality. Who better to play Napster founder and all around douchebag Sean Parker than Justin Timberlake, a musician who was definitely affected by the creation of Napster? He did an amazing job of playing Parker as the paranoid bad businessman that he was. 
And finally, the music. If the score wasn’t super-duper out of print I think I could do an entire review about it. Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross - Boy, what a team! I wouldn't have passed a few college classes if it weren’t for this score. As soon as I saw the film I had the music stuck in my head and to this day it's my go-to study/get things done music. It’s honestly worth a listen on its own, but hearing it woven into this complicated story is really something. “Hand Covers Bruise,” a melancholy tune that you can hear throughout the film, is also my favorite of the tunes. An intense, strange version of “In the Hall of the Mountain King” sets an even stranger mood for the Henley Royal Regatta where the Winklevoss Twins lose the race. Again, there is a reason this won an Academy Award for Best Original Score. While the score dominates the film it is opened and closed with two great song choices. Opening the film in a crowded college bar is The White Stripes' “Ball and Biscuit,” which sets a mood for the verbal beating Zuckerberg is about to receive from a soon to be ex-girlfriend. Closing out the film with The Beatles “Baby, You’re A Rich Man” while Zuckerberg sits alone after a deposition refreshing his Facebook page, waiting to see if the same ex-girlfriend from the beginning accepts his friend request is just the icing on this cake to an already fantastic sounding film. 
I find it kinda funny that this blog will be posted on the Twist & Shout Facebook page. The version of Facebook in The Social Network isn’t the same Facebook as today. In The Social Network it was exactly that, a network for socializing, that isn't the case anymore. Today it’s for arguments and weird relatives that overshare among other things. Around the time I was obsessed with The Social Network I also stopped putting every second of my life on Facebook. I don’t know if I was just bored with it or if the film made me see it in a different light. All I can say is that I am not one single bit surprised by all of the chaos Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook have created in the decade since the film was released.

- Anna Lathem

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