The Social Network: "Drop the ‘the’"
Ashley Walton — October 4, 2010
Not surprisingly, I give two thumbs up for The Social Network, which has gotten overwhelmingly positive reviews. First and foremost, Aaron Sorkin’s writing blew me away. He transformed a dialogue-heavy film into a rare treat that made me laugh and think at the same time. Aside from the writing, Jesse Eisenberg’s performance was fantastic, and I’m glad he’s been able to prove himself as something more than the poor man’s Michael Cera.
So we all agree it’s a great film, but I think it’s interesting that there’s a lot of talk about the accuracy of the film’s portrayal of Mark Zuckerberg. Certainly, I could see why this wouldn’t be Zuckerberg’s favorite film. However, I think people realize that the story is slanted for the sake of making a dialogue-heavy film exceptionally interesting. And even though Zuckerberg’s character is not particularly likable, he is still presented as a complex individual—good and bad mixed into one. The film definitely presents him as a sort of genius (even if it also presents him as a socially inept schmuck). I readily I admit that some of his comments (although definitely rude) made me feel satisfied and made me wish I were the kind of person with the guts to ask a lawyer, “Did I adequately answer your condescending question?”
The conversation at the beginning of the film serves as a summation for Zuckerberg’s character—for better or for worse. On the one hand, he’s quick, witty and has no trouble following three conversation threads at once. On the other hand, he (perhaps innocently) says some things that makes your jaw drop. And it’s this conversation that sucks you in and sets the tone for the rest of the film.