Film Review
By Séamus Smyth

Tackling present issues in film places a director in a vulnerable position because he is attempting to explain to an audience an event that they experienced first-hand; in this case the phenomenon known as Facebook. The rush of reality to script allows the audience to rapidly determine its validity due to the close proximity of motion picture to the time the event took place.

Fortunately, The Social Network was not written as some rags to riches fairytale, but instead was the observations of a sinister fly on the wall of a Harvard dorm room that watched an introverted genius take his hurt feelings and form the greatest meet and greet service ever created.
David Fincher, the director of the modern-classic Fight Club, recruits the sound narration of music guru Trent Reznor and forces the hair to rise off the skin of every Facebook member with the ease of a login button.

The film isn’t about the concept of Facebook. The site isn’t successful because people genuinely wish to reconnect with strangers whom they couldn’t bother to stay in contact with in the first place. It is immensely popular because it is the first online party hosted by self-centered, pseudo-celebrities with the ability to invite or ignore anyone of their choosing. If you’ve failed to come to terms with this transparent delusion, then unfortunately your level of narcissism is higher than the class average of the Facebook graduating class.

Mark Zuckerberg is an effortlessly brilliant Harvard student who after belittling his girlfriend in a head-spinning fury, is dumped like he was a word document sent to the trash bin. Without ever acknowledging his bruised ego, he sets off on a diabolical rampage on all women in the college database. Zuckerberg forms a “hot or not” based site, which allows sex-fiend doormen to determine who is the best looking female student to the shock and humiliation of women around campus. Zuckerberg succeeds in his quest to infuriate all members of the opposite gender, not excluding his ex-crush, by hacking into the Harvard database with ridiculous ease while a few beers deep no less.

Zuckerberg watches his reputation plummet from anonymous geek to renowned villain, but the stage is set for the cool kids to take notice. The Winklevoss twins, two standout athletes that look as though they were molded from the same clay as the Greek Gods, approach Zuckerberg once news spreads that he was the sole person behind the system crashing of one of the most prestigious schools in the country. When they pitch the idea of a social network strictly for members of Harvard, it ignites a light bulb bigger than the sun inside the warped mind of Zuckerberg and so his evolutionary website begins. He refrains from replying to the twins requests to update them on the progress of programming as he instead hijacks their suggestion and takes the Harvard interactive mingling concept to a whole new dimension.

Zuckerberg recruits his naive, yet genuinely good-natured best friend Eduardo Saverin. The partnership is primarily for financial purposes, but both understand that as business partners, capital is a necessary requirement.

The Social Network accelerates to high speed when, fitting enough, the most versatile entertainer of the past 10 years, Justin Timberlake, enters the picture playing arguably the most influential computer-geek of our generation, Sean Parker.

Parker is notorious for creating the music download program, Napster, and although his program is long gone by the time Facebook registers on his monitor, Zuckerberg can’t help but be impressed by the confidence and business suaveness that Parker puts across upon their initial sit-down.
Parker moves in while Saverin is given the cold, dark shoulder and the audience can do nothing but absorb the power that the final 30 minutes of this film delivers. The raw emotion that roars through Saverin when it finally dawns on him that he has been royally screwed out of literally millions of dollars is profoundly and refreshingly human.

The Social Network is a cunning, witty and generation-defining piece of art. It’s a movie that states so much more than what appears on the domain name. No more perplexing theme is the scenario that pits Zuckerberg versus the ken dolls of our time, played by the Winklevoss brothers. It’s the age-old tug-a-war between nerds and jocks, but the script is flipped.

Not only have the geeks been winning since the beginning of the technological era, they’ve shook every jock for their lunch money and once the helpless Zack Morris’ of our era are stark naked, the geek squad blind-fold them and double-check for any intellectual property.
Sure the twins may be smug, spoiled and unapologetically arrogant, but they have no hidden vendetta against the whiz kid Zuckerberg. Yet, upon reflection, it appears Zuckerberg smelt blood the minute the twins confessed their desire to recruit him in the hopes of getting rich and prosperous together.

The geeks run the planet, but they’ve gotten to the point where the roles are irrevocably reversed. From hacking into secure databases, to changing the world in the matter of months with an Internet hunch, Mark Zuckerberg has revamped the entire global communication process.
So how does one determine where Zuckerberg stands amongst past entrepreneurs of technology, from Thomas Edison to Alexander Graham Bell?

The issue with grand comparisons to our forefathers is that they were set on creating instruments and devices that would benefit themselves, but more importantly, the entire community. Yet, in the twisted world of 2010, inventions are spawned through self-interest and if helping others find enjoyment as long as there is a profit, than so be it. Where does Zuckerberg stand in the history books? It doesn’t matter because although he has our full, undivided attention, to quote him;
“ You have my minimal attention.”

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