Friday, October 8, 2010

Social Network

I have to tell you I am a bit surprised that this movie is doing so well at the box office. Typically movies with this concentration on dialogue and lack of good looking people, violence, sexuality and random car chases gets overlooked by the general public. Instead they get attention from critics and if lucky a nod at Oscar time and resulting wider distribution. Thanks however to the movie's hook, the Facebook phenomenon, we have a common denominator for everyone to enjoy.

As everyone with and without a Facebook account will see this file I will resist going into details of its plot. What I will say however is that it delivers on many levels. Most notably is the rapier dialogue. Almost everyone should see this movie twice just to catch all the wit and highly intelligent condescension that you may have missed the first time. The fact is that most of the film's real life characters are upper echelon intellects from the US's most prestigious schools. So it is not surprising that the characters' comments are stimulating and sometimes hard to get especially given the speed that they are fired out there. I can gather that Mark Zuckerberg is from middle class origins. So his story is not necessarily a rags to riches one, but it is the next best thing, the kid that gets sand kicked in his face gets even. So we root for the character regardless of how dishonourably he may get there. Given the same opportunity I think most of us would admit we would probably do the same things and genuinely justify it along the way.

I want to credit director David Fincher (Fight Club and Seven) and writer Aaron Sorkin (West Wing) for driving this good idea to its deserving success. I have always been a huge fan of Sorkin. I will watch anything that he is involved with and often suffer through the process of trying to keep up with the high-brow dialogue. However like reading a classic there is a sense of lasting accomplishment when you get through it.

The castings was perfectly done also. Jesse Eisenberg was particularly effective and believable as the Zuckerberg as was Justin Timberlake as the enterprising Napster founder. I'd like to also point out that Andrew Garfield was effective as Zuckerberg's less fortunate but loyal co-founder Eduardo Saverin. Garfield is a sure future star cast as Peter Parker in Mark Webb's reboot of the Spider Man franchise due in 2012.

I have one quibble though with the camera work. Although its probably a personal thing I did not like was the inattention to depth of field in many of the shots. I am guessing Fincher believed that it zeroed the viewer into dialogue at hand by removing any possible distractions (much like staring at a computer screen) but all same I could have done without it and was distracted anyways.

See this film though as it is deserving of the hype and at worst it will give you something to comment about while you are on Facebook.

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