The Social Network

cinema reviews

You don’t get to 500 million friends without making a few enemies, especially if you are the socially challenged genius computer nerd Mark Zuckerberg, the creator of the world conquering Facebook. Through fast-talking dialogue and scenes which switch back and forth at relentless, sometimes dizzying, pace we see the highs, the lows, the falling outs and countless lawsuits that supposedly plagued the early days of this social network phenomenon.

Whether you are a fan or not, it is clear that Facebook has become a huge part of our social culture so it was inevitable that a film would be made. The story, which is adapted from Ben Mezrich's non-fiction The Accidental Billionaires, switches from a court room where Zuckerberg, the youngest billionaire in history, is faced with a number of lawsuits, to quick flashbacks to 2003 explaining where and how it all began and why he is being sued.

Harvard computer science student Zuckerberg is an interesting character who, despite being extremely clever, has ironically little or no clue how to relate to other human beings, with the exception of his best and only friend Eduardo Saverin (Andrew Garfield ). Zuckerberg’s eccentric behaviour goes into overdrive when he is dumped by his girlfriend and, after quite a lot of beers, furiously and vengefully blogs about her before creating Facemash, a nasty site which rates campus girls’ attractiveness against each other. Despite landing into a lot of trouble with Harvard heads and being enemy number one on campus, Zuckerberg’s online antics attracts the interest of wealthy twin brothers Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss (both played by Armie Hammer ) who have come up with the idea for The Harvard Connection site. They try to recruit Zuckerberg who constantly avoids them while he shrewdly, with the help of investment from Saverin, develops TheFacebook which becomes an instant hit at Harvard.

Seeing its potential, Zuckerberg and Saverin make plans to expand the business, however, there are disagreements and long-seated jealousy rears its ugly head. The increasingly difficult Zuckerberg turns to flamboyant co-founder of Napster Sean Parker (Justin Timberlake ) who sprinkles his magic on the newly named Facebook. However success comes at a price, with Saverin and the Winklevoss brothers suing Zuckerberg.

Although there has been some criticism that this story is not entirely accurate it is non-the-less entertaining and is currently enjoying huge box office success and I can see why. It’s a must see.

Verdict: 4.5/5

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