I finally got around to seeing “The Social Network”, a movie about – but only loosely based on – the actual inception of facebook.com. You know, that website you use to stalk people. I am not much of a movie critic, and even though introductory phrases like these should be enough to refrain from actually reviewing a film, I still feel I should mention a few things I liked and didn’t like about the film.
First of all, David Fincher simply is one of the best directors around. Second, Trent Reznor just knows how to write music. Third, the combination of both can be found throughout the movie, but the most poignant one is the scene of the rowing competition. It was actually the first time I’ve seen a scene shot in tilt-shift in a mainstream film (for the record, I haven’t seen one yet in an indie film either). Anyway, if you still don’t know whether to watch the film, do go and see it, just for that one scene (it’s roughly two minutes, but well worth it).
Now, for the rest. Without a doubt, Sorkin, who wrote the screenplay, did a masterful job. There was nary a boring scene throughout the whole film, and considering that the whole thing is, well, about a website, that is quite a feat. As for stereotypes and clichés: yes, they’re all there. Most women portrayed are either demure, slutty or bossy. With a focus on slutty. I guess this simply comes with letting a middle-aged man write a film about college, young people and power (literary similarities are plentiful, go and have a look at Tom Wolfe and his “Charlotte Simmons”). So no, the film will never win a feminist’s award.
Apart from that, there’s the question of historical accuracy. For someone who has read Marshall Kirkpatrick’s “The Facebook Effect”, it soon becomes clear that a lot has been dramatized for the big screen. Fortunately, I already expected as much. Because, well, if it had been entirely accurate, the film would have been an absolute and utter bore.
Which leads me to my final point: “The Social Network” is in fact quite entertaining. Even though you might be wondering at the end what exactly it was you’d just been sitting through, when you think back, a good time was had.
In the end, it’s a film about a guy who’s shrewd, quite brilliant and mildly autistic, who gets sued by a bunch of people for being just that. Managing to make a feature film out of these elements without boring the shit out of everyone and their grandma simply is something to be admired.
Oh, and as much as it pains me to say so, Justin Timberlake is a solid actor.