Mark Zuckerburg is a bitch. I’m not generalising. It’s a fact. I read it on Facebook. Of course, if you’re intellect is even remotely keen, then I assume you’ve already seen the film for yourself, and thus understood my witty, attention-grabbing introduction.
If you’ve surfed or even strolled around the internet in the past five years it’s near impossible for you not to have heard of Facebook – the web phenomenon which practically gave ‘social network’ a whole new meaning. It snuck up on us with its persuasive connective benefits, word-of-mouth spread it from group to group and from humble Harvard beginnings it grew into a colossal communications beast. Those photos of you making a complete fool of yourself, that girl/guy you’ve been lusting, messaging your friends to meet them later for a chat – Facebook has become the place to go online to converse with the people who matter to you.
And believe it or not, David Fincher’s take on the origins of this web phenomenon, The Social Network
, is as supremely compelling as the stories say. Jesse Eisenberg as the socially frustrated and chilling Mark Zuckerberg make the film what it is. The characters aren’t particularly likeable, and their womanising attitude permeates it from the start. Yet it’s a credible representation of what the founders of Facebook were probably like before their creation changed their lives forever. They were motivated by a desire to be popular and get with the opposite sex, which won’t be far off what many 20-somethings who aren’t amongst the ‘cool clique’ ponder on a regular basis.
Based on The Accidental Billionaires, a book written by Ben Mezrich which draws heavily on discussions with Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin, the filmmakers have taken some artistic license. This is not a visual memoir, it’s a snapshot of modern life at a time when even its creators cannot be sure of the long-term implications of Facebook. What’s more, David Fincher, director of Seven and Fight Club, uses the medium to make the process of coding, messaging and rising through the social ranks exhilarating. Overall, though, the film did a brilliant job of showing the choices Zuckerberg made and the consequences for his obsessive/paranoid actions. Half the film may be fictitious, but I’d bet Zuckerberg really is one lonely guy.