I wrote a review about The Social Network last March. I finally got around to buying and I just re-watched it, partially as research and partially because the movie captivates me in ways I can’t quite express. There are a number of things going through my head right now with this film so there will be a couple of more specific posts about it. If anyone is reading this outside of my blog than those extra posts will mostly likely only be on my blog.
Anyways, where to begin? The Social Network has been out for a year now. We have already seen the film nominated for eight Academy Awards and it won four of those among numerous other awards. That’s pretty damn good if you take any stock in some of those awards. It currently ranks 8.0 on IMBD and 96% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. Again not to shabby. Personally I loathed the idea that a movie about Facebook was being made. I’m not big on the site to begin with (though yes I do have an account). Yet as soon as I saw the trailed I couldn’t help by being amazed what they had created. As much as I didn’t want to see the film on principle alone, the trailer slowly ate away at me every time I saw it (which will be it’s own discussion). So why is this film so great?
Let’s put aside the directing and cinematography. That’s a whole separate post. Personally I loved the look of the film. Visually it’s very dark and sharp and most of the movie is amazing to look at. I enjoyed watching the cast sit in a dorm room or a lecture hall partially because it looked amazing.
And of course we can’t skip the score. The soundtrack is a nice complement, but the score. Oh, the score is amazing. I own it and listen to it often, particularly Hand Covers Bruise. Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross created an amazing score that matches the dark and edgy visual components of the film. The score is quite subtle, yet it sticks with you. Again I have to praise Hand Covers Bruise as being something that I have a hard time ever getting out of my head. It’s beautiful, but it’s kind of daunting at the same time.
The pacing is great as well. There really is never a dull moment. The film isn’t action packed per say, but I have seen this movie three or four times by now and I’ve never been bored during it. It has yet to get old at any point. A lot of the scenes are quite short and just keep on coming. The movie actually is action packed if you look at it that way. That and you get numerous verbal punches.
Which brings me to Aaron Sorkin’s writing. Most people adore this man and for good reason. Part of what makes The Social Network wonderful to watch is just the dialogue. It’s quick, witty, and harsh. Zuckerberg (played by Jesse Eisenberg) has some fo the best dialogue. I can’t help but love everyone of his lines, even if he’s being a dick.
People love critiquing the “truth” of the film. Screw that. Know why? This isn’t a documentary. If I was trying to find out the truth about Facebook and Zuckerberg and co. I would do actual research. If nothing else I’d at least watch a documentary, which this film isn’t. Liberties were taken with the film to make it entertaining. To make it dramatic. IF all Zuckerberg and his friends did was eat pizza and drink beer while coding, than very few people would go to see this film. I’m sure you could make a great film out of that material, but this film in the end really isn’t about Facebook. Very little of the promotion of the film or what the creative minds involved with it tried to advertise the movie as really being about Facebook. To me I always understood that the film was about a variety of other themes that they’ve created or exaggerated. In some instances the use of Facebook was just for marketing purposes. That and it is an interesting story without the dramatization.
The internet is something that has not really been covered that well in film or even literature as far as I know. Personally I’ve been racking my brain by coming up with drafts and outlines for something that can capture the world we live in now with the internet and social network. Yet I can’t. I come from a generation that has had the internet and is obsessed with things like Facebook. Yet I still can’t wrap my mind around it. The Social Network is one of the few (can’t think of any off the top of my head) films that really touches on the impact the internet, social networking, and media advances really has on our lives now. If nothing else that is a reason to watch this film. Forget all the artistic value to it. The heart of the material alone is impressive.
I don’t know how much sense I’ve made. Maybe none. Hopefully though I’ve at least touched on a few reasons why this movie deservedly got the praise it did and should continue to receive praise for. I’d hate to see this film just disappear now that we’ve arrived to a new year which is halfway over.
PS: I realized I failed to mention that cast. Honestly I don’t know what to say. The cast was amazing and I can’t think of the words to describe how good the performances all were nor how well the characters were all shaped. Someone with better knowledge of acting might be able to take a stab, but all I know is that without the cast this movie had, it wouldn’t be the movie it is (obviously), but I mean that. I can’t imagine anyone playing these roles any better.