Caleb’s review published on Letterboxd:
“You’re not an asshole, Mark. You’re just trying so hard to be.”
On the way to inventing the next big thing at the time, Mark Zuckerberg (spectacularly played by Jesse Eisenberg) doesn’t change much as in his personality, or even his goal as is demonstrated in the opening minutes of the film. Erica Albright (Rooney Mara) walks out on him as Mark insults her intelligence, her education and basically herself as a whole in one of the best opening scenes in the history of opening scenes. It’s a changing moment for Mark, as he sets out on a concept that he would build on later on in the film, but then if we want to see the root of the choices he’s making, we see that Erica leaving him is arguably the root of it all. After all, there is irony in a man who has no friends, and he’s able to connect millions across the globe. It’s an intricate character study, and I think it even extends to Eduardo Saverin (Andrew Garfield) and some on Sean Parker (Justin Timberlake), but Mark is clearly the main thing that this film is focused on to deconstruct his character and show what kind of person he is. All in all, the characters are fully realized, and it’s astounding since this is only 120 minutes, and I’m able to recall most, if not, all characters and what kind of people they are. We’re able to see Harvard and its people just before Facebook, and after. While it’s set in 2003, we’re able to identify with the people especially who has now centered their lives around Facebook. While in its infancy, we certainly can see its impact, explicit or implicit. In a larger context, I think this is a fantastic look at the 2010s, despite it never taking place in 2010s. We still didn’t know what social media could be, we didn’t fully understand it’s power as demonstrated. Even today, we’re still learning from the ramifications of using social media as a centerpiece of our lives. All of these are discussed in this fantastic film, and I think it’s one of the greatest film ever made only due to the subject matter and the platform that dominates the present news cycle and our lives; Facebook. If it hasn’t been already, this will be studied not only in film schools, but in sociology, or perhaps even psychology. It’s layered, and it shows in every viewing. It gets better every time I watch this, and its power will stay for perhaps centuries to come.