Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s gone on record to label David Fincher’s scintillating tell-all of his company’s tumultuous inception as “fiction”, but questionable journalistic integrity is a small price to pay when you’re watching something as riveting and skillfully constructed as The Social Network. More
In their adaptation of Ben Mezrich’s novel The Accidental Millionaires, Fincher and writer Aaron Sorkin (The West Wing) grip the viewer from the very first frame and proceed to translate what potentially is really dry material for cinema into a deft distillation of universal thematic hooks that form the core of many great stories: more so than the creation of a cultural phenomenon, The Social Network is the classic rags-to-riches tale, the ultimate revenge of the nerd and the heartbreaking autopsy of a broken friendship.
Played by Jesse Eisenberg, who pulls out a positively sociopathic performance that puts any reservations of his indie-geek “other Michael Cera” sensibilities at rest, Zuckerberg isn’t presented in the most flattering light, but the most human: unfalteringly brilliant but emotionally clueless. As jilted business partner Eduardo Saverin, Andrew Garfield touchingly embodies the personal collateral damage of Zuckerberg’s steamrolling.
With the exception of a canoe race montage which employs flashy “tilt-shift” photography to jarring effect, Fincher is all restrained visual rigour here, while Sorkin’s relentless, lighting-paced dialogue – matched with the nimble, non-linear editing – mirrors the speedy viral nature in which information is shared and processed in our age. An invigorating and vital film. Hide