SGNEWWAVE Presents – The Social Network (2010)

“You are probably going to be a very successful computer person. But you’re going to go through life thinking that girls don’t like you because you’re a nerd. And I want you to know, from the bottom of my heart, that that won’t be true. It’ll be because you’re an asshole.”  

The Social Network (2010) is a David Fincher film written by Aaron Sorkin. I believe it’s important to mention these two giants of cinema during any discussion of the Facebook biographical drama, as their visions were imperative to how this film turned out and the eventual massive impact The Social Network has had on cinema and filmmakers around the world.

The dialogue in the film is phenomenally well written. The SGNewwave screening was my fourth re-watching of the film and I still found myself religiously reciting the screenplay as it was delivered. Sorkin has such a distinct flair for writing that not only can deliver exposition and character motivations with much ease but also keep the audience forever on edge of their seats, with every line of dialogue piercing as hard as a bullet. With that being said, being familiar with Sorkin’s other work, it’s obvious that Fincher somewhat held the golden dialogue back when comparing The Social Network to another Sorkin-written film, Steve Jobs (2015). The problem I had with the Danny Boyle film was that every single line in the film was golden to a fault- there were TOO many great quotes compressed into 122 minutes that none of them were memorable, and it was cool for the moment, but in the grand scheme of things, the film ended up being a tad unrealistic. Hence, I must give credit to Fincher’s perfection in repressing Sorkin’s mad genius so that we as the audience are not only given breathing room when viewing the film, but are able to accept every facet of the film as genius storytelling.

Besides the fast-paced, snappy dialogue, The Social Network is a hallmark for incredible sound design and music composition. Composers Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross bring so much to the table with their intense, rhythmic, almost ethereal soundtrack. At some points, it feels as though they themselves should be credited as writers of the film- their music doesn’t overshadow the events taking place but actually enhances the stakes of a story where people are just sitting around talking about money and coding. A great example would be the montage scene where Mark Zuckerberg and Eduardo Saverin meet Napster founder Sean Parker for the first time at a restaurant, the eerie, yet catchy OST “Magnetic” plays, illustrating rhythmically the almost poison to Sean’s words, that poison that Mark is willingly swallowing, and that combined with the subtly brilliant shot composition, the audience sides with Eduardo and distrust Sean, despite Eduardo being painted as the villain of the story.

The writing and the sound design are just two amazing aspects of the perfect timeless masterpiece that is The Social Network. In my opinion, this film is not only one of the greatest works by one of the greatest directors of all time, but one of the greatest films of all time, deserving a spot with the likes of Citizen Kane and Casablanca.

TRIVIA:

– The opening breakup scene with Jesse Eisenberg and Rooney Mara ran eight script pages and took 99 takes.

– When Facebook hits one million members, the number 1,000,046 appears on the screen after Sean Parker requests a refresh. The producers purposely chose the number to correspond with the running time of the movie at 1:46:46.

– A good deal of the shots in the film depicting “Harvard’s Campus” were in fact filmed at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, including the opening scene in the trailer for the film.

– The real Mark Zuckerberg had never heard of an Appletini before he had seen the film. After he tried one, he liked it so much he made the Appletini Facebook’s official drink.

– Bill Gates is portrayed by Steve Sires, a “professional Gates impersonator,” but his voice was dubbed by a “24-year-old African American kid with dreadlocks,” who just happened to sound like Gates.

AVERAGE RATING: 4/5

By: Gerard Nagulendran

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