The Dryden Observer

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The Social Network

Chris Marchand

Chris Marchand served as editor of the Dryden Observer from August 2009 to April 2018.
Although David Fincher’s The Social Network was released over a month ago, DVD release dates have become increasingly irrelevant to Dryden citizens since the demise of our local video store, haven’t they?
This can be demonstrated by the fact that I actually prepared a review of the Coen Brothers stunning re-imagining of the classic western True Grit for this week — only to discover that it was months away from being released, on DVD.
The Internet can be an interesting place to get oneself in trouble.
The Social Network is ‘a story’ about the one of the most influential forces within the Internet. Regardless of whether you believe Facebook is a scourge upon our attention-spans or a wonderful tool to connect with others, this story about founder Mark Zuckerberg is rife with Shakespearean levels of betrayal and hubris.
Let me just say this, Aaron Sorkin’s script is much more enjoyable if you can restrain yourself from poking around after you’ve watched the film, looking for Zuckerberg’s reaction to a movie that portrays him in a maladjusted light.
Director David Fincher’s treatment of the Sorkin script is so beautifully crafted that it pains one later to discover that its most powerful moments were dramatic fabrications. Such is life. Nothing this well-done can be 100 per cent real.
In the story of Facebook, there are certain undeniable truths — persons involved, lawsuits fought and settled — everything in between falls into dramatic speculation.
That much has been said by the world’s youngest billionaire who has since taken shots at the filmmakers for framing his motivations for making Facebook around a fictional girlfriend who scorns him in the opening scene of the movie.
“I’ve been dating the same girl since before Facebook,” he told an audience at Stanford University. “…they can’t wrap their head around the idea that someone might build something because they like building things.”
When it comes to The Social Network, my advice is, ‘don’t let the truth get in the way of a good story’. This is a great story with elements of truth.
Jesse Eisenberg is impressive as the younger Zuckerberg whose raw talent distinguished himself as a bit of a high-tech rogue on the campus of Harvard in the early 2000s, facing academic suspension for youthful outbursts of ingenuity.
Enter the Winklevoss Twins — Olympic rowers who approach Zuckerberg with an idea resembling Facebook — a campus-wide social network that would help them get girls.
When Zuckerberg disappears into his dorm room for months on end to emerge with a better version of the Winklevoss’s social networking idea, his early collaborators cry foul.
Most compelling is the betrayal between Zuckerberg and his best friend/financier Eduardo Saverin, who was tricked out of his 34 per cent of Facebook stock by failing to read the fine print after Zuckerberg added Napster founder Sean Parker (Justin Timberlake) to the corporate mix.
The lawsuit negotiations, which earned the Winklevoss’ $65 million, and Saverin an undisclosed amount, are the framework through which the filmmakers examine the rise of the website beyond university campuses into the mainstream.
The only bad thing about this movie is the sense that you want to believe every bit of it, even though you can’t.

By Chris Marchand

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