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  • Writer's pictureMax Markowitz

The Social Network

See It Or Skip It: See It

Brilliant But Frightening

David Fincher’s The Social Network came out at just the right time. I honestly don't think it could be made today. Since its release in 2010, so much has gone on that I just don't think audiences would appreciate it the same. Filmmakers would certainly have made the film differently. Sadly, what seems like a great idea at a certain time can have major consequences later. Regardless of anyone's personal feelings towards Facebook, I think we can all agree that it's generated so much controversy, we can't even remember why anymore. CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg seems to be on the front of most of it and his reputation hasn't gotten any smaller than it was 10 years ago.

The Social Network follows Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg) from the very beginning in 2003 when he was an undergrad at Harvard and created what would eventually become Facebook making him the youngest billionaire in history. The personal and legal complications that arise serve as the film's compass. Each scene is like its own film, meaning that The Social Network really isn't a film you can generalize. It's just so relevant and every time a film is said to be relevant, it generates controversy but critically, does very well. The Social Network did both and I was mind blown the first time I saw it that 2010 fall afternoon.

I rewatched it recently and just felt terrified. The technology could save us from so much if we let it but there's so much greed and selfishness out there that will try to make it our undoing. Culturally, we’re not really doing all that great right now anyway but the culture of technology is a 24/7 global revolution that hasn't stopped from the moment it began and it's only getting bigger. Praise for The Social Network is a much easier topic to address psychologically and on that note, my first piece of praise is for the truest angel not just in America but everywhere, Andrew Garfield.

As the unsung hero of The Social Network, he brings forth such a spark in Eduardo Saverin and such a heartache as someone whose contributions are not only unappreciated but someone who's thrown out like garbage to serve someone else's purpose. A problem that needs to be gotten rid of. This is too common and happens to people every day but only when it happens to us do we feel just how evil it is. Backstabbing, not just in business but in life is normal. It's wrong but most things that are wrong are often seen as normal. Otherwise, they wouldn't be happening.

My second piece of praise goes to Rooney Mara and Dakota Johnson. Rooney Mara has always been very stoic in her work and I admired how she portrayed Erica Albright. She's arguably the most mature person in the film. As a woman and a human being, she respects herself enough to stand up when she's treated poorly and when those who aren't worthy of her try to sliver like a serpent back into her life, she'll remind them who they are in a very calm way. It's actually much more intimidating to put people in their place when you're calm and Mara doesn't fall for the stereotype of the loud-mouthed victim. She's too talented for that and it's what's gotten her so far.

Dakota Johnson (Amelia Ritter) is introduced as a one-night stand with Sean Parker (Justin Timberlake). Johnson’s only onscreen for a few minutes but she acts with the same smile and enthusiasm she brings to her craft in every role. She's really an actor who worked hard to move up the ladder and The Social Network is where it all started.

As for Eisenberg, his performance as Zuckerberg secured him a place in Hollywood but as is often the case with young actors, they go on to star in mainstream films that commercially do quite well but aren't worthy of their time or let alone to be released at all. Sadly, this is the path he's traveled down professionally but for what it's worth, his performance as Zuckerberg freaked me out. When someone is so brilliant and so powerful, you better hope that he or she is a decent human being because otherwise, they will destroy you. I wouldn't be surprised if Rosamund Pike was inspired by Eisenberg’s performance for how she approached her role in I Care A Lot.

If you're someone who saw The Social Network in theaters when it first came out, see it again. The times are different, you're different and so is everything else. The Social Network’s really a societal prequel of what's to come and even now with so much trouble looming around us, we haven't gotten there. The idea that we will is what's so frightening.

photo credit: YouTube

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