PG-13, Columbia Pictures, 121 minutes

Directed By David Fincher, Music by Trent Reznor, Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, Justin Timberlake, Max Minghella, Rooney Mara, Armie Hammer, Brenda Song.

Well if you want explosions, sex and violence then this is obviously not the movie for you.

The Social Network is a slow film that is built upon a very contemporary subject (Facebook now has over 500 million users), an excellent ensemble cast, good direction from David Fincher and a great music score from NIN’s very own Trent Reznor.

The film chronicles Mark Zuckerberg’s (played efficiently by Jesse Eisenberg) founding of Facebook in 2003 and the trials and tribulations along the way.

The film opens with Mark breaking up with his girlfriend Erika (Rooney Mara), while he is still a student at Harvard University. In retaliation Mark blogs nasty things about her and then gets the idea to create a website to rate the attractiveness of female undergraduates. He hacks into Harvard’s database and with the help of his best friend Eduardo Saverin, (Andrew Garfield in a stand out performance here) uses an algorithm to create a page called FaceMash where male students choose which of the girls is more attractive. The site becomes an instant success with over 22,000 hits but also results in part of Harvard’s Database crashing.

Mark’s popularity increases as a result of this and brings him to the attention of  Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss (a brilliant Armie Hammer in dual roles), who are identical twins that want Mark to help them program a new website that they have been planning.

Mark comes up with his own idea which is “The Facebook” and together with Eduardo he founds this. The Winklevoss twins accuse him of stealing their idea and come after him, eventually taking him to court.

In the meantime, The Facebook is expanding more and more, and Mark and Eduardo are introduced to the co-founder of Napster, Sean Parker ;(a solid Justin Timberlake), who although a bit of a party animal impresses Mark as he has the same vision of Facebook as he does. Eduardo however, does not share the same ideas so their relationship becomes strained.

The movie essentially revolves around the legal cases that Mark Zuckerberg had to go through while at the same time showing us the origin of Facebook in flashbacks. What makes the film entertaining is biting dialogue and exceptional performances. Jesse Eisenberg is good here, but the real stand outs are Andrew Garfield who brings a real depth of emotion to his character and Armie Hammer who is flat out hilarious as the Winklevoss twins.

While this film is a drama–and a slow one at that–the acting keeps you going and because the dialogue is so good you are caught up in the moment. There is actually a lot of humor in the film as well.

The Social Network is not really a movie I would see in the cinema as I go out to be “WOWED”, but it is a very fine piece of film making all round and a movie that certainly should be seen.  4/5 Stars.


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