Aaron Sorkin’s scripts, for how much cleverness they incorporate through their wording, can also carry a flair of being too in love with the pen. With the right filmmaker, however, something more arises in order to really show how clever they actually can be and the furthest that they have ever managed to reach was in 2010 when David Fincher released The Social Network, a film recounting the events that led to the creation of one of the most used websites in recent history (arguably the most used and most common social media website in that regard). In spite of some obvious contrivances with actuality, the film’s relevance has only managed to grow.
Everyone who would take a common comfort on the Internet would be familiar with the social networking site Facebook. With The Social Network, director David Fincher decides to paint a portrait of what the process of its development has been like from the perspectives of the most critical minds behind its creation, going from Mark Zuckerberg to Eduardo Saverin and the Winklevoss twins, who intended to sue Zuckerberg for stealing property. I’ve noted earlier that liberties have been taken with the actual story in order to for what was set to be told in The Social Network but whether or not what we are witnessing is fact or fiction is irrelevant when more possibilities about actuality can come about.
Everything starts up perfectly when we are introduced to Mark Zuckerberg as he talks with his girlfriend, Erica Albright. Not only is it a showcase for exquisite and natural dialogue on Aaron Sorkin’s end, but it establishes a fascinating figure in its lead character so perfectly. Mark Zuckerberg is a man of incredible understanding of what other people like, yet he has great difficulty in conveying on his own end, leading to the end of a relationship. It sets everything up perfectly on the count that it begs a specific question in regards to why this man of all people decided he would go ahead and start up a social networking site inside of his own hands. What is he set to gain now that he has access to the many people who have joined afterwards? Fincher never paints him as a likable figure but always a fascinating one, just as we would ever make of the creator behind a website that many of us use so frequently.
It doesn’t stem only from Jesse Eisenberg’s portrayal of Mark Zuckerberg where our fascination with The Social Network is allowing itself to grow but in the sort of character that Eisenberg is carrying through Zuckerberg. It’s this running character going behind what led to the creation of Facebook that creates a whole other perception of what possibilities could come about now that people are allowing their information to spread on the internet inside of a world where they perceive their “friends” are set to interact with them. The best thing about how everything comes about in The Social Network is that it never feels blunt, it’s only a possibility implied through the mannerisms of the characters behind such an establishment.
Fincher doesn’t paint the whole story only from Zuckerberg’s perspective when looking at the creation of Facebook. All throughout the film what we have are different sightings upon everything as they take place in front of our own eyes, showing a new look upon events that the principals behind Facebook’s creation are involved with now to show how their involvement has changed what they have all become. Zuckerberg, who already showed his social incapabilities from his conversation with Erica Albright, has turned into a person who now has become so overwhelmed with power to the point he cannot control an empire, and thus alienates even his own friends as shown through the descending relationship he had shared with co-founder Eduardo Saverin.
If The Social Network may not be my favourite of David Fincher’s body of work it might perhaps be his most important work thus far and it certainly will be one to remain a defining image of the generation and where rising takes oneself. Because of where Facebook has grown right now it only signifies where a film like The Social Network would grow to become all the more important, but whether or not everything we are being told is factual or not has only become rendered irrelevant. This is how David Fincher and Aaron Sorkin have seen things and obviously it was their intention to tell a story, one which carried a significant grip over time. One which is only set to grow stronger over the years as more people begin signing up for Facebook accounts.
Watch the trailer right here.
All images via Sony Pictures.
Directed by David Fincher
Screenplay by Aaron Sorkin, from The Accidental Billionaires by Ben Mezrich
Produced by Scott Rudin, Dana Brunetti, Michael De Luca, Ceán Chaffin
Starring Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, Justin Timberlake, Armie Hammer, Max Minghella, Rashida Jones
Release Year: 2010
Running Time: 120 minutes