First up, although the film ostensibly tells the story of the founders of Facebook, focusing on the creation and development of Facebook, this film is NOT about Facebook. Being a passionate Facebook refusenik myself, if the film was about Facebook, it would not hold my attention for longer than the opening titles.
So what is the film about? For me, the film is about friendship, loyalty, betrayal and the pursuit of power and money. It is also about the closeted world of Harvard, and how important it is to be accepted and endorsed by your peers there. These are all themes that I am interested in and can relate to.
The first thing I just HAVE to mention is the writing and the screenplay. It is outstanding. I love the fast, sharp, witty and cutting dialogue, dialogue that assumes its audience is intelligent. I love the fact you get straight into the story and you are gripped the whole way through. The plot has power and packs a real punch.
Jesse Eisenberg is simply outstanding as Mark Zuckerberg. In my humble opinion, he (or James Franco for 127 hours) should have got the Oscar, not Colin Firth. He totally inhabits the character and soul of this version of Mark Zuckerberg. He plays him as highly/super intelligent, who wants more than anything to get into and be accepted by the top Harvard clubs, with a sharp and biting sarcastic tongue, a conflicted individual, torn between wanting to be a true friend, drawn to the bright blinding light that is Sean Parker, and yet fighting and trying hard to win all of the numerous lawsuits against him.
I simply love Justin Timberlake playing Sean Parker in this film. He has a magnetic screen presence in this film, you are drawn to him, as Mark is, like a moth to a flame. He is charismatic and charming, the bad boy who has the world at his feet. A risk taker, and therefore exciting.
Photo credit: http://www.holymoly.com/celebrity-news/social-network-premiered-new-york-were-quite-excited49137
As I have talked about how brilliant both Jesse and Justin are in this film, it is only fair that I mention the third male lead in the film, who makes up the trio of male leads, Andrew Garfield. He is also outstanding as Eduardo Saverin, the one true and loyal friend that Mark has who ultimately feels that Mark has betrayed him, both as a friend and as a business partner.
Something I noticed on this viewing of the film, which I did not when I first saw it, was that Mark was blogging on Livejournal. Yes one of us could be the next Mark Zuckerberg (or maybe not!).
Ultimately, at the close of the film, being a billionaire does not bring Mark Zuckerberg happiness. He wants his ex-girlfriend - Erica Albright - back, but she dumped him because of the type of person he was, and is unlikely to ever take him back. Money does not buy happiness in this world, let alone the next!
I am championing this film and saying that if you have not yet seen it, now is the time to do so. It is available on Amazon here:
In case you won't believe me, I am linking to reviews that I wholehartedly concur with and that do the best job in terms of selling the film - the Evening Standard and the Observer: