Facebook is an international phenomenon and, with all the controversy surrounding its creation, it was only a matter of time before it was dramatised.
Switching between the three connecting narratives of the websites creation and the two resultant lawsuits, the film tells a story of ambition, manipulation and regret. It illustrates the development of Facebook from the mind of a drunken, rejected teenager to its $25 billion valuation.
An awkward exchange between Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg) and his soon to be ex-girlfriend Erica (Rooney Mara) kicks off the film which charts the growth of one of the biggest crazes of our time.
It all stems from the torment experienced by Zuckerberg as he struggles to cope with the intense social pressures one would expect to see in a film on an American college campus. Eisenberg puts in an outstanding performance as the nervous, socially unskilled Zuckerberg who strives to find his place within a society that doesn’t seem to have one for him; that is until he creates one.
His angry outburst turns into something he can’t quite control when ‘The Facebook’ becomes bigger than he or his best friend, and partner, Eduardo (Andrew Garfield) could ever have imagined. Garfield is remarkable as the best friend who is always there until he is replaced by something bigger and better.
Enter Justin Timberlake as the crooked creator of Napster. Despite featuring alongside the superb performances from Eisenberg and Garfield, Timberlake fails to convince as the arrogant, superficial entrepreneur that causes endless problems for Zuckerberg.
The soundtrack complements the film brilliantly and enhances the fast pace coming from the constant interchange between narrative paths and the speed of Eisenberg’s speech. Despite this pace the film begins to drag on as it delves deeper into the problems that Facebook created behind the scenes.
Humourous interjections and peculiar references to other films distract from the seriousness of a film that otherwise provides an inspiring story of entrepreneurship.
The Social Network is a must see for anybody living in a world dominated by social networking. But it also serves as a stark warning to the dangers surrounding success; you never know who you can trust and must take care of those close to you.