Film Review: 'The Social Network' Tells a Compelling, Captivating Modern-Age Story

You may be skeptical about spending $12 to watch a film about a social networking website you use every day, but trust me: This is not just a movie about Facebook. Written by Aaron Sorkin (“The West Wing,” “Charlie Wilson’s War”) and directed by David Fincher (“Fight Club,” “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”), “The Social Network” is one of the most brilliantly constructed films this season.

As a warning, the beginning of the film can be confusing with its deluge of Harvard jargon. (Note: my Harvard friend confirmed that “final clubs” are what other schools call frats). To get the Ivy League details right, Sorkin reached out to Harvard's most famous alumni—Natalie Portman. Also, sequences are shot with flashbacks, which take some getting used to. After you grasp the timeline, you realize the flashbacks intensify each character’s personality, creating a very emotionally charged experience. The most sympathy ultimately lies with Jesse Eisenberg (“Zombieland,” “Superbad”), who plays the CEO and co-founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg. Though initially portrayed in a less-than-flattering light, the flashbacks allow you to become more and more deeply immersed in his psyche as the film progresses, and the experience becomes utterly riveting.

The same goes for the other characters—you enter into scenes from the memory of fellow Harvard classmate and Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin, played by Andrew Garfield (the new "Spiderman"), who by the way is a stunner in both physical attraction and acting skill. Both male leads weaved a betrayal story that broke my heart, as it made me reflect upon my own friendships and what code of loyalty I would follow if professional and personal relationships came in conflict.

Disney star Brenda Song scores a decent amount of screen time as Eduardo’s groupie girlfriend, Christy. She fully commits to the psychotic girlfriend role in a very convincing manner, which brought a depth to her acting that has never before been showcased. The scene (pictured above) where she “plays” with fire is one of her best, as her silence toward Eduardo becomes the most poignant indicator of her emotion.

The interaction between the actors drive this movie forward at a fast, engaging pace. Top that off with a beautifully directed and cleverly written script and you get a creative masterpiece that combines elements of drama and reality so well that you may leave the theater as I did, thinking, “Wow, that was intense.” If only all movies could make me feel that way.

Check out the movie trailer here at their official site.

Photo via The Social Network official website