Sunday, 27 March 2011

The Birth of Facebook

The Social Network
Released: 
4 October 2010
Directed by: 
David Fincher
Produced by:
Scott Rubi
Dana Brunetti
Michael De Lunca
Se├ín Chaffin 
Written by: 
Aaron Sorkin
Based on the book ‘The Accidental Billionaires’ by Ben Mezrich 
Starring: 
Jesse Eisenberg
Andrew Garfield
Justin Timberlake
Armie Hammer 
Max Minghella 

Summary: Mark Zuckerburg (Jesse Eisenberg) is a computer geek with next to no friends. Aiming to get revenge on his girlfriend for breaking up with him, he creates a website, involving comparison of girls - which then leads to the idea of ‘The Facebook’ (later known as ‘Facebook’). Originally just for university students, the site becomes a huge success across the world, with the help of Sean Parker - creator of ‘Napster’. However, there are legal complications as Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss and Divya Narendra argue that Mark stole the idea from them. If one legal case was not bad enough, Mark’s former best friend and co-founder of Facebook is  also suing him, after his shares were massively diluted. ‘The Social Network’ follows the lawsuits and the amazing story of how Facebook was created. 
My Favourite Scene: Without a doubt my favourite scene is when Mark’s best friend (not so much at the time, but before the success of Facebook) Eduardo travels to California ready for an exciting meeting and a party for reaching one million Facebook users. However neither of these events happen. Instead he arrives and is told that, due to new share holders, his shares have been diluted down to .03 %. None of the other co-founders of Facebook had their shares diluted - shown in the scene where his lawyer asks four consecutive times how much the other founders’ shares were decreased by. My favourite moment in this scene is when Sean Parker tells Eduardo that Mark is ‘wired in’, meaning that he is too involved in Facebook to talk to him. But, in anger, Eduardo picks up the laptop and smashes it against the desk saying ‘What about now? Are you wired in now?’ Implying that he will finally have Mark’s attention. 
The discussion leads to Eduardo realising everything was about his success in the Phoenix and he believes that Mark was even behind the animal cruelty story involving him. Sean Parker also tells Eduardo that he should ‘check again’ about his name being on the masthead - conveying how he and Mark were attempting to permanently disregard his involvement with the creation of Facebook. I felt this argument was excruciating because it showed just how easily Mark had abandoned his friendship with Eduardo - who had been loyal to him from the beginning. 
My Favourite Quotes: 
Erica Albright: The Internet's not written in pencil, Mark.  It's written in ink. 

Sean Parker: We lived on farms, then we lived in cities, and now we're going to live on the internet! 

Marylin Delpy: Bolivia. They don't have roads, but they have Facebook. 

My Thoughts: I really enjoyed this film. It was very interesting to see how the idea of Facebook had evolved from comparing the ‘hotness’ of girls online. I found myself having mixed feelings for many of the characters - especially Mark. He was easily dislikable due to his selfishness and the way he treated the girl who broke up with him in the first scene. However, it was difficult not to laugh at his quick-witted comments, like “The rest of my attention is back at the offices of Facebook, where my colleagues and I are doing things that no one in this room, including and especially your clients, are intellectually or creatively capable of doing. Did I adequately answer your condescending question?” It was also impossible not to appreciate him creating such a hugely successful website, but also, how he knew what was necessary for its success.
A reason why I particularly enjoyed ‘The Social Network’ was because it is a true story. The idea that a young man could invent a website which now has over 300 milli0n members is quite incredible. I use Facebook nearly everyday, and it occurred to me as I was watching the film how big a part it plays in some people’s lives - whether that be a good or bad thing. The phrase ‘Facebook me’ has become commonplace, and as shown in the film, people can live their lives on the internet.
I loved the ending of the film. Instead of anything too dramatic, it ends with a woman who was present at the hearings, Marylin Delpy, telling Mark that he’s not an asshole, but ‘just trying so hard to be’. He then goes onto Facebook and adds her as a friend. He keeps refreshing the page just to check if she has accepted, despite only seeing her a few minutes ago. I think this is a nice ending because it shows that despite the success of Facebook, he is still a loser - searching for a friend.
Although I really enjoyed this film, I was slightly confused as to why it gained 8 oscar nominations. It was very watchable, the characters were good and the script was relatively entertaining, but I do not think it was oscar-worthy - which is probably why it did not win any! I am also, after doing some research, doubtful as to how much of the film is factually correct. However, this is an excellent film for a easy watch and definitely a must-see for Facebook-addicts, but nothing profound or oscar-worthy. 
A-