Just got home from seeing The Social Network in theaters for the first time. I can understand why Mark Zuckerburg wouldn’t want to see it, there’s a few things that have been exaggerated about him and his life, plus Jesse Eisenberg adds a few details to Mark’s character that I can hardly imagine that the real Mark has or is.
First of all, what surprised me is that the story is told in memories, meaning that what takes place “now” is the characters in the board rooms meeting with lawyers and discussing the several lawsuits that are going on. I thought that the movie would be about how facebook was created, not told as a memory. It’s an interesting artistic choice, one that keeps the plot moving very fast.
That’s another point – this movie moves very fast, and if you don’t know the real story behind the creation of facebook in reality, there’s a good handful of things that might confuse the average viewer.
Second, the primary buzz (at least when the movie came out) that this movie was about Mark creating facebook as a way to get a girlfriend is a bit bent. Yes, in the movie it does show Mark’s character in a relationship with a girl named Erica, and Mark’s character attempts revenge on her, but he does it while drunk and gets into a bit of trouble for it. Beyond that, the focus isn’t so much on relationships as it is about hooking up. (I do wish there was a little bit more boy on boy action represented, since facebook’s Co-Founder, Chris Hughes is actually gay).
There’s a good number of legal terms that come up in the movie, and anyone who doesn’t have a basic grasp of law and legal proceedings is going to be lost in the terms.
A couple of artistic choices definitely struck me. First, it was a walk down memory lane seeing the old versions of the facebook site on screen. Second, I enjoyed how much sex was emphaised over relationships – I feel that it’s a good expression of how society is evolving in it’s definition of relationships. Ironically enough, this whole issue is a plot point in the movie – relationships and why the relationship status was added to facebook itself.
Third, (and a smaller point) I loved the choice of music. There are no theme songs, per se, but I recognized many of the famous classical pieces that were included.
Fourth, I also enjoyed the pace of the movie. As I said, it goes quite fast, and just like how watching Beyblade motivates me to play the game, watching The Social Network makes me want to blog, to facebook, to tweet, and so much more. Note, I came home and immediately hopped on WordPress to write a blog which will sync to facebook, and to twitter, and to Tumblr, and then a second time to my facebook as a note, and so on and so on. On top of that, I’m building in more features onto my WordPress (As soon as I understand Google Friend connect!) and posting for the second time in a short period. Again, so much pace described above, and all inspired from the speed of the movie.
Fifth, I noticed the emphasis on how college students are performing incredible business tasks from the setting of their dorm rooms. It makes me smile to reflect on how much of an impact that people from the ages of 16 to 28 are having on the world right now, and how much more of an impact they are going to have for the next 60 years! So many things in the world and in life are about the change, and much of that will be coming from the fast paced people depicted in this movie.
Finally, I enjoy the level of knowledge that’s shown throughout the movie. Everyone seems to be an expert on everything, which is easy these days. With mobile and cloud computing, anyone can do a Google search from just about anywhere and get a wealth of knowledge at their fingertips in seconds about whatever they need at any moment. And if you’re at a high speed computer in an office, then you have an infinitely bigger capability of gathering loads of useful information and basically creating a data army to use at your will.
A very nice piece of art, I’d say.
All in all, I’m pretty sure this makes my list of top 20 favorite moves of mine of all time.