The Social Network

So I saw a preview of this the other day and thought I’d make a few points that stopped a decent film from being a great film. Like, I said, it’s a decent movie and a very interesting story of how Facebook (something that most gravitate to hourly) was developed in a student bedroom and the break-up of the friends who created it.

The first major problem is pretty much inherent to nearly all movies that are based so closely on real life events. Reality usually doesn’t naturally fit into a movie structure. So you have to look for stories within a story and in most cases use your dramatic license. The Social Network sticks very close to the original story which, dramatically, doesn’t climax in anything too surprising or eventful. In fact, it’s almost like a documentary in places and disappoints a bit by telling us the actual ending in subtitles before the credits come up.

The second problem was with the protagonist Mark Zuckerberg. From the outset he’s consistently unlikeable. They do make it clear he’s one of those genius’ with a lack of people skills but they show very little about him that you can empathise with. It’s ok to have protagonists that do bad things as long as you have antagonists that are even worse, but in this film the antagonists are actually the good guys trying to sue Zuckerberg for his wrong doings.

Should Zuckerberg have been the protagonist? I can hear a lot of people that know this story screaming, “Of course, he built Facebook and still runs it. He is Facebook, you mental!” But films like The Last Station, about Leo Tolstoy’s relationship with his wife in his last few weeks but whose protagonist is neither, prove that you can still tell someone else’s story but through the eyes of someone you can better relate too. Facebook’s co-founder Eduardo Saverin may have been a better choice.

As for the rest of the film, the acting was pretty good although I’m not sure Justin Timberlake comes across as someone who could of coded up Napster. It had the right direction and feel about it and it told an interesting but not exactly gripping story. Definitely worth a watch, though.

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