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The Fincher Files: The Social Network (2010) Review

The Social Network (2010)

IMDB Link: The Social Network (2010)
Director: David Fincher
Writer: Aaron Sorkin
Stars: Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, Justin Timberlake
Based on: The Accidental Billionaires by Ben Mezrich

Synopsis: As Harvard student Mark Zuckerberg creates the social networking site that would become known as Facebook, he is sued by the twins who claimed he stole their idea, and by the co-founder who was later squeezed out of the business.

If you read my piece in the latest edition of The Ultimate Choice, you will know that this was one of the two Fincher films that I had seen previously to this series. You will also know that this was my choice of the two, as I was already in love with this film. It is safe to say that another re-watch of this film truly made me realise how incredible this film is, to the point that I am ready to declare it is one of my top films of all time.

I have already discussed throughout that article, as well as in previous reviews of Fincher’s filmography throughout this series, that David Fincher knows how to pace his movies. This may just be the best of them all, as he goes back to keeping the film at two hours. There is not a moment of this film that feels dull or unnecessary, as there is so much information and presented in such a simple yet engaging format. I am somebody that is not usually a fan of the flashback formula to tell a story, but this way of presenting several legal cases through the flashbacks add weight and impact to what each character is proposing in those moments.

Not all the credit goes to David Fincher for this one though. Aaron Sorkin may be one of the best screenwriters of this lifetime and it is easy to see why he is so beloved in the industry. The art of screenwriting is not simply being able to tell a cohesive yet engaging story within the timeframe given – whether in TV or film. It is also the intricacies that come with that, especially when it comes to dialogue. There are very few screenwriters that nail the dialogue to feel natural but also push the story forward, and yet Aaron Sorkin writes some of the best lines in movie history.

I talked in my post on The Ultimate Choice about how Sorkin and Fincher are able to set-up an opening to the film, giving an initial impression of Mark Zuckerberg that will run throughout the film. This is not just the case with the film character of Zuckerberg, but numerous characters throughout this film. There is a fantastic set-up to Sean Parker (played by Justin Timberlake), the CEO of Napster. Without even needing to be on screen, but by having Andrew Garfield’s character Eduardo Saverin mention the fact that Parker is late, immediately tells us everything that we need to know about him and what role he will play in the story.

The casting in this film is some of the strongest I have perhaps ever seen. There is simply nobody else who can play Mark Zuckerberg other than Jesse Eisenberg. He will never get a role that is more perfect for him than this, and he quite simply pulls it off so naturally. Andrew Garfield is such a likeable person that it becomes easy to cheer for him throughout this film, also making for a great casting choice. I was not sure on a first watch what I would make of Justin Timberlake, but there is something about casting a musician in the role of a person who became famous for ripping music and giving it out for free. Once again, this works fantastically.

There are many people who regard this film as the best that Fincher has made, and it is hard to argue against that. Just look at the latest edition of The Ultimate Choice, five of us chose to write about The Social Network. This is a defining piece of work that highlights the way that the media runs, that companies operate, and the power that social media has on us. From the opening sequence to the closing shots, this is one of those films that I am not afraid to call a masterpiece. It is David Fincher’s defining piece of work and I will watch this many more times for many more years.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

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