Film Review: Audiences "like" The Social Network

Movie ReviewThe Social Network★★★★

One of the most highly anticipated films of the season, The Social Network dramatizes the sensational story of computer science mastermind Mark Zuckerberg and his creation of the digital juggernaut known as Facebook.

Before rolling the end credits, the film offers a terse epilogue and mentions how its despicable protagonist became "the youngest billionaire in history." In what could be a surprise to the audience, this statement is one of the few valid facts presented throughout this highly dramatized film.

Based on Ben Mezrich's supposedly non fiction novel The Accidental Billionaires, The Social Network depicts Zuckerberg as a vindictive but socially inept computer nerd attempting to overcome his longing for acceptance into the prestigious Finals Clubs of Harvard University. Far from a classic underdog story, the narrative of this unflattering biopic stems in part from the spiteful attitude of Zuckerberg's scorned business investor and former college pal, Eduardo Saverin.

Saverin's hand in this scathing portrayal of the pretentious whiz kid is evident throughout the film, found everywhere from the main character's petty arguments about status and recognition down to his excessive doodling during court hearings. Although Zuckerberg and his Facebook associates have disputed the validity of this book-turned-movie, moviegoers are left questioning the credibility of the story that examines unethical manipulation in the business world.

Overlooking the holes of truth, director David Fincher assembles a commendable cast to portray the major characters. Zombieland's Jesse Eisenberg takes on the role of Zuckerberg, channeling all of his geeky energy and prowess to create a loathsome character. Thanks to the quick wit and biting lines of screenwriter Aaron Sorkin, Eisenberg exemplifies the overbearing and pitiful attitude of movie-Zuckerberg with the swift lash of his tongue as he faces off with enemies jealous of the character's success.

Though the film hinges on dramatic unfoldings, refreshing comic relief can be found in the scenes featuring the strapping Winklevoss twins (both played by Armie Hammer), two Harvard crewmembers who initially try to create their own social networking site with Zuckerberg. Once they realize that their partner has stolen the concept for himself, these boys struggle to act as "gentlemen of Harvard" all the while restraining the urge to take the twerp to court.

Now to address the concern that has been plaguing your minds for months: Justin Timberlake's acting chops. Portraying the tragically wealthy Sean Parker, Napster co-founder and president of Facebook, Timberlake seamlessly places himself into the smarmy, conniving character. Even though the pop star admirably explores his skills as a dramatic actor, his portrayal does not warrant any form of acknowledgment at the Academy Awards.

While the film establishes a story based on allegedly skewed accounts of true events, The Social Network offers an enthralling character study that examines the ruin of the human condition when enticed with potential fame and riches - but don't go deleting your Facebook accounts just yet. This film provides a gratifying experience of entertainment for all moviegoers whether or not they are interested in the growing social network industry.