Wednesday, March 9, 2011
SOME THOUGHTS ON WATCHING THE MOVIE "THE SOCIAL NETWORK"
The film indeed was quite gripping and a profound watch. However, I was kind of left with the mixed feelings. The “social” part of Social Network appeared ironic and hallow as the film portrays Zuckerberg not as an modern age young icon who changed the way we communicate today through social media but as a social dud with little people skills and warmth of friendship. Mark Zuckerberg emerges in the film as quite a self obsessed but sharp nerd who is emotionally clueless and mechanistic. Another fact that struck me that it is not about redefining friendship on the virtual world, it is not really about what inspired Facebook creator to connect people who are distant, but about the drama behind the venture – how the dynamics of friendship are fractured when big money unfolds its true colour. It was shattering to see Mark so devoid of basic sentiments of friendship.
The film dramatically depicts the tumultuous founding of Face book. Mark Zuckerberg is shown here having a peculiar kind of attention deficit disorder. It's as though he is constantly sampling the information around him, but not able to focus very long on a human being. He converses in jerks. He is scarily bright, but his emotional focus is his laptop. And when, finally, his girlfriend Erica makes it clear she is leaving him, his laptop is his refuge. Racing back to his dormitory, he uses the Harvard University email system to post a page asking friends to rate college girls by comparing them with barnyard animals. It goes viral, and the system crashes.The film flashes forward, and back again, between Zuckerberg giving pre-trial testimony in lawsuits brought not only by Saverin, but by two patrician Harvard alumni, the Winkelvoss twins, who claim they employed him to develop a comparable site, a kind of Harvard student online networking tool, but he never delivered. The case was later settled, but the courtroom cross-examination provides a handy dramatic tool for Aaron Sorkin, who also makes this film a study of insider/outsider resentment, and class prejudice. As Critic Steve Rhodes calls it “A study of an obsessive genius who is devoid of any loyalty to his friends or co-workers, the movie hits the nail on the head about the dark side of Silicon Valley culture. The movie makes you feel sorry for him more than it motivates you to attempt to achieve his success”.
The fast paced film has a crisp, characteristically superb direction by David Fincher ( of “Seven” and “Curious Case of Benjamin Button” fame) and some real great acting by Jesse Eisenberg as Mark Juckerberg, Justin Timberlake as Napster co-founder Sean Parker and Edward Garfield as a humane and vulnerable facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin.
Overall the film cleverly shows how Zuckerberg set the path for a new generation of passive individuals bonding through social networking site and how facebook has become defining change in human interface brought by web 2.0.technology. Recommended for the entire class.