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‘The Social Network’ Review

Very often, I feel like I’m on the outside looking in when it comes to popular culture. Whenever a large contingent of people like something, I usually can’t stand it. Millions thought “Avatar” was the 21st Century “Star Wars.” I thought it was a computer-generated blue, mess of a movie. Everyone loves “American Idol” and “Glee.” I love music, but this does not qualify. How can people not see, or hear anyway, that all the songs they perform are just re-makes aimed at making you buy musicĀ  on iTunes you already have? And this brings me to Facebook. I’m on Facebook. I “facebook” (occasionally) and I’ve even “friended” a few folks. But don’t let that fool you. I hate it. It’s already created a generation of anti-social weirdos, who instead of talking to your face, will write on your “wall” or “like” your comment. It’s also perpetuating grandiose narcissism. The “look at me and what I’ve done” mentality is really too much for me to handle. And that brings me to the movie about the creator of this URL underworld.

It’s well done. That’s a 180, keep up people. “The Social Network” is a good movie. Is it film of the year? No. But it has decent acting and it’s put together rather brilliantly by director David Fincher. Instead of giving the viewer a straight forward account of Mark Zuckerberg’s meteoric rise, Fincher messes with the time line. It took me a few minutes into the film before I realized that the legal hearings against Zuckerberg were not in the present. With this type of presentation, it almost played like an episode of the television show “Lost” giving viewers snippets of today, while flashing back to the past. Fincher also creates a world that mirrors its subject matter. The story and the dialogue move at lightning speed, much like information on the internet. If your girlfriend dumps you, the entire world can know about it immediately and the movie illustrates that point wonderfully.

Now to the things I did not about “The Social Network.” While Jesse Eisenberg’s portrayal of Mark Zuckerberg may have been a spot-on, the performance seemed like a one-trick pony to me. There appeared to be little emotion emerging from his character other than arrogance and indifference. Like I said, perhaps this is how the real Zuckerberg actually makes his way through life, but it came off as a bit too smug.

The story itself struck me as weak. And really not worthy of a biopic. Yes, this man’s website, which, if we are to believe the filmmakers, revolutionized the way people communicate, however, that’s all he did. He made a site that, if personal experience speaks true, allows everyday people to post pointless videos, play farming games and complain about every nuance of their lives. And really, now it’s just become a tool for Zuckerberg to hand out your personal information to advertisers and occasionally criminals. He didn’t create the iPod, he’s not Steve Jobs. I’d much rather see a movie telling me his story, instead of some punk programmer who stole an idea and is now worth billions because he’s a back-stabbing jerk.

Because really, in the end, as the film shows, Zuckerberg, like millions of others on Facebook is just a conceited, friendless person staring at a computer waiting for validation of self-worth from people you barely know. As for me, I’m still on the outside looking in.

posted by Seth Szilagyi in The Social Network and have No Comments