Covering the rise of the creator of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg and the resulting lawsuits, The Social Network is kind of like a Boogie Nights for dorks, showing how the phenomenon of “social networking” conquered the globe and made billionaires out of the young dotcommers involved.
The cast are uniformly excellent, showing a warts and all account of the people involved; there are no “heroes” here, just a bunch of kids who had an intellect that made them capable of changing the world yet ironically was a massive handicap when it came to making normal human connections. Zuckerberg doesn’t seem malicious exactly, just a guy who thinks of himself as a rebel and pioneer, yet has spent his life and achievements shaking a fist at the world in general – and opposite sex in particular – because he wasn’t smiled upon by the God of cool. Even Justin Timberlake acquits himself well as the computer geek’s equivalent of a rock star and epitomises the entire movement; he claims he “revolutionised” the music industry and “changed it for the better” but what he actually did was destroy it for the sake of his own ego.
This is truly a zeitgeist movie that no doubt catalogues a watershed moment in the evolution of human culture which now sees a generation who spend all of their social time photographing themselves looking like they’re having a good time instead of actually having a good time. Just to have all of their photos become the property of Zuckerberg as soon as they are uploaded – along with all of their personal information of course.
This film is a testament to the skills of David Fincher and Aaaron Sorkin whose deft direction and razor sharp dialogue manage to make a film about a bunch of self-superior, grasping, emotionally stunted dicks not only interesting but damned entertaining.