Esteban Gonzalez’s review published on Letterboxd:
¨You know what's cooler than a million dollars? A billion dollars.¨
How in the world do you make a two hour film about the invention of facebook and make it an engaging thriller? The answer is pretty simple: get David Fincher to direct the film and Aaron Sorkin to write the screenplay. Fincher is one of the best modern day directors who seems to turn everything he touches into gold. I don`t think I was alone in the opinion that making a movie about Facebook was a bad idea. I just thought it would be impossible to keep the viewers interested for two hours on a computer nerd; at most it would be decent material for a short film. But once I heard Fincher was involved with the project I totally bought into the idea. Fincher has proved himself with such great films as Se7en, Fight Club, Zodiac, and Benjamin Button; and with the Social Network he has created one of the best modern biopics I have seen. He will surely be nominated for best director, and the film will also garnish several other nominations, including best picture.
Sorkin (A Few Good Men, Charlie Wilson`s War) should also be credited for the success of the film because his screenplay was perfect (it will also be nominated for best adapted screenplay, you can count on it). He creates such great characters that are far from being one-dimensional. You have Mark Zuckerberg (played by Jesse Eisenberg from Zombieland and Adventureland fame) who is sort of a jerk, incapable of being social, a real intelligent and arrogant guy, but who you end up routing for because let's face it he invented facebook one of our favorite vices on the internet. The guy may not have any social skills, but he is a genius and there is always something attractive about geniuses. We can forgive him because he is just so wicked smart, but I don`t think any one of us would want to be his friends or much less stand anyone like that. His only friend, Eduardo Saverin (played by Andrew Garfield, the soon to be Peter Parker in the new Spider Man franchise) is also a student in Harvard who seems to be the only person who stands Mark even though he is treated cruelly at times, but he is good at keeping his composure and hiding his emotions. Eduardo and Mark found the company Thefacebook.com together which begins exclusively for Harvard students but begins to spread to other schools. Sean Parker (played by Justin Timberlake) hears about the website and arranges a meeting with Mark and Eduardo foreseeing the potential the site has. Sean happens to be the inventor of Napster, and unlike Mark he is very social and expressive. The characters seem to complement each other, and it all works to perfection.
The film is non linear as we jump back and forth from Harvard to the law suits that Mark is going through once he has become a billionaire. He is being sued by his best friend Eduardo (which makes the viewer wonder what has gone wrong with their relationship) and on the other hand by the Winklevoss twin brothers who actually suggested the idea for an exclusive Harvard site and claim Mark stole it from them. Mark was always obsessed about getting into Final Clubs in College and when the twin brothers came to him with the idea about a Harvard exclusive site everything clicked for him. He could be the president of his own exclusive site. He was a visionary and everything paid off for him: ¨ We lived in farms, then we lived in cities, and now we're gonna live on the internet! ¨
The Social Network is a modern day biopic full of thrills thanks to a great script and a good performance from the cast (especially by Andrew Garfield). The score is also great and contributes to the overall story, as well as the filming which is just brilliant. The rowing scenes were beautifully shot, but they weren`t just there for artistic purposes. The entire rowing scenario with the twins was sort of a parable of how they were used to being first all the time. When they finally lose to the Dutch they realize that being second brings no reward. Zuckerberg beat them at coming up with the idea for Facebook, perhaps a little unethically on his part, but the difference between being first and second in the business world is gigantic no matter how tight the race is. Fincher has directed a great film and will probably get a lot of recognition during award season because he was able to transmit the importance of our modern day internet age. Fincher should be considering making a sequel to this film about the founders of Twitter; nah maybe that is a really bad idea. Anyway The Social Network is my favorite biopic this year and finally brought down The Runaways to second place. It`s all about being first, that's what makes the difference.