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Movie REVIEW: The Social Network

Admit it, you can say all day long that you aren’t interested in seeing The Social Network, but deep down you know you want to. It’s okay, it’ll just be between us.

Well, to help you ease some of that pain, I headed out on Friday and checked out the movie, and while I expected to be bored out of my mind, I was pleasantly enthralled from beginning to end.

The Social NetworkLooking past the true aspects of the story, and looking at The Social Network as just a film, it is a well crafted, deftly scripted and beautifully shot film.  There is no doubt that the film transcends the subject matter of entitled elite Harvard students, socially inept geniuses and ethically questionable drifters, and propels itself to simply a very well constructed work of drama.  Considering the subject matter it is easy to imagine that many people would be be bored, but instead is seems to be a work that will entertain just about anyone who sees it, even if they have no clue what Facebook is prior to walking into the theater.

Though I am familiar with all of the stories this movie relates, it was still interesting to see them played out on the big screen, and so soon after the actual events.  All of the nitty gritty things we have heard about like Mark Zuckerberg “stealing” the idea for Facebook from the Connect U folks (Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss), or Eduardo Saverin losing his 30 percent stake in the company are all there, and even more little details that you can’t be sure are accurate, but they certainly feel like they could be the honest portrayals of the earliest days of one of the most successful Internet sites ever.

And therein resides the problem for Mr. Zuckerberg and his company: it all feels true.  The one thing that kept running through my head as I watched the movie was how Jesse Eisenberg, portraying Mr. Zuckerberg here, delivered the lines of the site’s creator: They were forceful, self-assured and without a hint of social awkwardness.  Did no one involved with this film watch even one second of footage of Zuckerberg talking?  The man sweats profusely at the drop of a hat and is a never-ending bundle of nerves.  It’s hard to imagine that he suddenly turns into a sharp-tongued linguistics manipulator when not in front of a camera, and that alone makes me question the validity of a lot of the film when they can’t even seemingly get the main character’s speech pattern down.

Yes, there is a lot of truth here, but remember to take any and all of it with a grain of salt.  On the big points, such as the whole battle with the Winklevoss twins, those things are public knowledge, and are true, but on the finer details of private conversations, think of it as nothing more than a fictional anecdote.

Is The Social Network something you have to see in a theater?  Nope, you can wait until DVD or cable for it, but it is definitely worth your time to check out should the opportunity arise.

Seen the film yet?  What did you think?


Sean P. Aune

Sean P. Aune has been a professional technology blogger since July 2007, but his love of tech dates back to at least 1976 when his parents bought...

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