Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Social Network (2010)

Directed By:

Summing It Up:
Director David Fincher (Seven, Alien 3) brings us Hollywood's version of Mark Zuckerberg and the founding of Facebook.

Quick Thoughts: 
I caught this one in the theater when it was released a few months ago, and I have to say that I was very impressed. However, I couldn't help but wonder how it would play on a second viewing. Well, I'm happy to say that it was just as good the second time around; maybe even better.

It's no secret that I've been a fan of Fincher's films for the better part of the past two decades now, but initially, I wasn't sure how he would lend his dark and moody style to a semi-fictional biopic about Facebook. As it turns out, the man can make just about anything interesting. In this case, he does so by presenting a very detached and stylized account of how things (supposedly) went down.

Why do I say "detached?" Well, for the most part, the characters in the film are far from likable. In fact, aside from Zuckerberg's initial business partner, Eduardo (played amazingly by Andrew Garfield), most of the characters come across as cold, obsessive creeps. In fact, for a story that is supposed to come from Zuckerberg's point of view, and center on his involvement, you would expect some sort of identification with him. However, the whole thing makes you feel as though you are an outsider, watching quietly from the sidelines somewhere; kind of like Facebook itself. And I guess that's where Fincher injected his brand of filmmaking.

In the end, the film is highly entertaining. It's beautifully shot, even if the photography is dark and cold, and the soundtrack (co-scored by Trent Reznor) is a perfect fit. The electronic soundscape fluctuates between loud and raucous, and quietly somber. 

The cast also does a great job. However, while most people have been talking about Jesse Eisenberg's (who actually steps outside of his Michael Cera Lite reputation) portrayal of Zuckerberg, I found Garfield's to be the best of the bunch. You really get the feeling that he is the only one in the film who still had some kind of contact with humanity.

Anyway, this was one of my favorite non-genre films of 2010. If you haven't checked it out yet, you should definitely do so. If you have the means, the Blu-ray looks and sounds phenomenal.


5 out of 5


Strange Kid said...

Couldn't agree more, Jeff.

Unfortunately, I missed this film in theaters, but after so much hype scooped up the "Collector's Edition" last night and watched every bit of it (extras et all). Fantastic film work by all involved and I find myself anxious to see it again!

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