Directed by David Fincher
The Social Network
The moral of the film “The Social Network” is never try to make friends with someone who has Asberger’s syndrome. For one thing, he won’t know that you want to be friends, he won’t know how to be your own friend, and he will cut you out whenever it occurs to him to do so, and he will never, never never feel guilty about it.
“The Social Network” is a wonderful film about a man with no social skills, and without even the ability to know or care that he has none. He’s Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of sorts of Facebook, and he’s played to perfection by Jesse Eisenberg. The film starts at Harvard in 2003, where Mark is a sophomore having a beer with his girlfriend of the time, Erica (played by Rooney Mara, the actress who is soon to be Lisbeth Salander in the Hollywood remake of “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.”). Mark retreats to his room where he writes a computer program dissing Erica, followed by a program dissing ALL Harvard girls. One thing leads to another, and pretty soon he’s hacking into the files of the women of Yale, Columbia and Stanford, doing exactly the same thing. His friends of the time see the possibilities of going really big with his program, and one of them, Eduardo Saverin (Andrew Garfield), his roommate and only friend, puts some money into it and is rewarded with a 30% share of the company.
The film alternates between various events of the time, including his adopting some of the contributions of two Harvard seniors, twin brothers, in addition to returning to Eduardo and his own contributions to Facebook, with scenes set in the present day at a deposition hearing because both the twins and Eduardo have sued Mark for a fair share of the now-billion-dollar company.
How did that happen? Well, Sean Parker (played by Justin Timberlake in a wonderfully sleazy performance) comes along at exactly the right moment, helps Mark get investor financing at the cost of Eduardo’s stake in the company. Much of the film is set at the deposition, and as one or another recounts what happened, we see the events taking place. Mark, however, barely registers what is happening and could not care less about it all.
The film was directed by David Fincher (“Zodiak,” “Benjamin Button”) and written by the West Wing creator, Aaron Sorkin. Except for one shot early on, (which has Mark running about five times around the Harvard campus so that the credits can roll above him) the film is captured perfectly by the D.P. Jeff Cronenweth. Without doubt this will end up on anyone’s Oscar list, and rightly so.