Last night I watched an advance UK preview of The Social Network, the Facebook movie. Having read Steve’s post a few week’s ago, I have been looking forward to seeing it as soon as it reached British shores. This post describes my thoughts after watching the film and will contain spoilers. I’ve been a member of Facebook right back when it was called ‘The Facebook’, and I’ve been fascinated with it ever since. Aaron Sorkin did a great job with the screenplay and the outcome is a beautifully made film, dark in places though that’s a trademark to the genius of director David Fincher. The early part of the action takes places around the Kirkland campus at Harvard, and depicts Mark Zuckerberg as a socially awkward computer science nerd.
Jesse Eisenberg, plays Zuckerberg in a rather robotic performance, lacking any kind of human emotion during the early part of the movie. Once you get past the monotone voice, you do hear traces of Mark’s humorous dry wit. I found myself laughing out loud in certain places. The Winklevoss twins came across rather creepy, blessed by family fortune and the status that it brings. They are used to getting their own way until of course they meet Mark. He manages to give them the run around and take their idea of the Harvard Connection social network and build upon it. You can’t help but feel they were naive suckers, despite their smugness.
Sean Parker’s (co-founder of Napster) role adds an injection of ‘coolness’ into the movie. Parker was the person that suggested that ‘The’ from Thefacebook.com should be dropped to simply read "Facebook". You can see how Zuckerberg becomes enthralled by Parker’s influence. Interestingly though, the film fails to mention that Parker became Facebook’s president up until the cocaine drugs bust.
Sorkin’s screenplay shows the painful build up of Eduardo Saverin’s betrayal by Zuckerberg, Sean Parker and the rest of the Facebook management team, it really stood out towards the end. In David Kirkpatrick’s Facebook Effect book (read my review here), Saverin came across as rather cold, socially awkward much like Mark himself. But above all he was a business machine, exceptionally shrewd and focused on making big contacts and even bigger deals. This didn’t really across within the movie. I genuinely felt sorry for him. Upon reading the Kirkpatrick book, I felt that Saverin was the villain. However, who is to really know the true story, apart from the main protagonists? Overall, the 120 minutes of the movie passed by very quickly because I was engrossed. If you get the opportunity, I would certainly recommend you go and watch it. It’s a great story.