Tuesday 19 October 2010

The Social Network (2010) - David Fincher

There's a lot of buzz around this film, particularly with regards to Oscar season.  But it's definitely too early to be discussing that, especially with this film.  Yes it's good, but it's not that good.

The Social Network narrates the rise and rise of Facebook, the world's favourite pastime.  It's a film about the power of the internet.  More so, it's a film about friendship - the essence of social networking - and how easily it is corrupted by success and money.  The film questions, literally, what is the price that friendship must pay when faced (see what I did there) with sucess?  The narrative juxtaposes scenes of the site's conception with the various lawsuits Zuckerbeg (Eisenberg) must endure.  The final moments sucessfully reflect this dichotomy, the monetary facts starkly contrast with the human emotions of friendship.

A film such as this really does rely on characterisation and acting ability.  The main trouble is that none of the protagonists are particularly likeable.  Zuckerberg is portrayed from the outset as a bit of a cock, arguing with his girlfriend and retiring to his dark bedroom to relay his feelings through blogging monologues.  How ironic that such an unsocial being could design such a successful social network - a key element of the film.  Still, despite his witty and intelligent banter in the lawsuit scenes providing some much needed comic relief, the audience are left expecting some form of redemption which never really happens.  It is therefore a rather pessimistic view of fame and fortune.  Like the sleak, clinical offices, it's all a bit cold and heartless.  Perhaps this is a comment on the business world of today.  But it doesn't necessarily amount to an entertaining film.

It's certainly a well acted and well made film.  Just don't expect to walk out jumping for joy.