Friday, October 1, 2010

The Social Network (2010)

David Fincher always brings a high level of excellence to each project he is working on. Even if it is a potboiler like Panic Room or the misfire of Curious Case of Benjamin Button, they all have one thing in common: impeccable craftmanship. This film is no different. Fincher's style has recently been internalized and is letting the content drive the story. The flash and flair of Se7en and Fight Club may not be there visually, but the tone has sure creeped into it.

I was weary of a film about facebook. But after hearing Fincher was attached and seeing the well put together trailer, it peaked my interest in the material.

Fincher spins a web of betrayal, blackmail and deceit around the characters. The primary being Mark Zuckerberg, now the world's youngest billionaire. Mark is a man who is possessed by the possibilities of social interaction online. Yet as the gap widens online, the barrier for human interaction closes in on Mark. What I found just as riveting were the secondary characters. The characters of the Winkervoss twins and Mark's friend Eduardo made for dynamic storytelling.

Aaron Sorkin's script and wordplay are one of a kind. The rapid fire dialogue will coil around you and strap you into your seat. It's not like we are seeing cracks in the Zuckerberg armor as the film goes on. The flaws rear their ugly head from scene one. In it we are introduced too Mark as he "sets a landspeed record for talking" when discussing getting into clubs to a girl. The use of intercutting between depositions gives this material a narrative pull and makes the bridge between past and present structurally sound. But more than that, it's a comment on both exclusivity and just how easy it is to get caught up in the business of getting their first.

Being a huge fan of Nine Inch Nails, I was elegaic when I heard Trent Reznor was scoring this film. The score never screams attention to itself when taken in context with the whole. It moves the scenes along with a natural rhythm. It's a soundtrack I'll be definately purchasing.

Zodiac, two films prior to this one, drew upon a theme of obssessiveness. The protagonist Robert Graysmith had a quest to find the true identity of the Zodiac killer. Yet, his quest ended up overtaking his life with his wife & child. Mark Zuckerberg's quest is completely different but he is still just as obssessive as the protagonists in Fincher's previous films.


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