THE SOCIAL NETWORK. (2010) DIRECTED BY DAVID FINCHER. SCRIPT BY AARON SORKIN. BASED ON ‘THE ACCIDENTAL BILLIONAIRES: THE FOUNDING OF FACEBOOK, A TALE OF SEX, MONEY, GENIUS AND BETRAYAL’ BY BEN MEZRICH. STARRING JESSE EISENBERG, ANDREW GARFIELD, ARMIE HAMMER, JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE, MAX MINGHELLA, ROONEY MARA AND DAVID SELBY. REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. © I’d put off watching this film for ages, dismissing it as probably being a load of rubbish, but it’s not rubbish at all. It’s a strangely compelling, gripping and fascinating two-hour peek into the life of Mark Zuckerberg, the man we all know as the founder of Facebook, and I was glued to it from start to finish. Apparently, the Harvard computer science student gave himself the idea for Facebook after being dumped by his girlfriend and writing some very misogynistic stuff about her on his blog, before figuring out a way of rating the ‘hot’ girls on campus online by using their photos. His Internet-crashing venture led to the creation of the site we know and (mostly!) love in early 2004. The invention was originally intended as a way for college students at select universities to connect with each other, but the site expanded rapidly and had one billion users worldwide by 2012. I had been aware of it myself only since about 2010, and joined in 2012 with the purchase of my first ever laptop. I’ve generally found using Facebook to be a really positive experience. I’ve made some wonderful friends there who all share my interest in films and books, and I’ve been able to share my movie reviews and other writings on the site as well, which has been a huge help. I haven’t really encountered too many jerks or dickheads on Facebook- maybe one or two at most- so I guess the jerks and dickheads all congregate on Twitter or Instagram or wherever else…! Anyway, Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t come across as a very nice guy in the early stages of the film because of the way he reacts to being dumped, but I began to root for him quite seriously when the Terrible Twins, now Bitcoin billionaires Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, come to the forefront of the film when they decide to sue MZ for bazillions of dollars for ‘stealing their idea’ for a social networking site. I don’t believe that MZ stole the idea for Facebook from the twins. He’s clearly been a coding genius from a young age and was always going to do something magnificent with his life and his brains. The twins, both ably played by the hunky Armie Hammer (he’s in trouble at the moment for being a bit kinky in his sex life; this just makes me want to embrace him, not ‘cancel’ him!), are spoiled privileged rich boys who claim MZ nicked their idea, instead of coming up with his own, which he would have been perfectly able to do without any help from them, thank you very much. Sadly, the courts took the side of the Winklevoss twins, probably because they had unlimited use of their billionaire father’s crack law team. Remember old David Selby – he plays their lawyer- as Richard Channing on FALCON CREST? He was always coming up against the might and sleight of hand of Angela Channing (Jane Wyman), the filthy-rich businesswoman with more balls than the Wimbledon finals. God, I used to love that show, with all its fabulous glamour and under-handed shenanigans and the implausibly named Chase Gioberti! Haha, we’ll be talking about DALLAS and DYNASTY next. Where was I in the film review, anyway? Oh yes, Justin Timberlake turns up as one Sean Parker, founder of the computer file-sharing service, NAPSTER; I have no clue what that means. Also, he looks exactly like himself. He tries to encourage MZ to party down with underaged girlies and take all kinds of so-called ‘recreational’ drugs as he is a big messer. MZ really only likes to code, however, so he goes on with that and leaves the partying and the madness to other people. I don’t think the Winklevoss twins should have been awarded so much money for the so-called ‘intellectual property theft’ of their precious ‘idea.’ They should have gone off and invented something else, if they were that bothered. It was right of the court to restore MZ’s pal Eduardo Saverin’s name to the Facebook masthead, however; he remains one of the legitimate co-founders, after all. I still remember how much fun it was to look up old boyfriends’ profiles on Facebook, back when I first joined. It was also good for checking if girls I’d gone to school with had gotten fat or had a nicer house than me. (Most of them did; the bitches!) I’ve calmed down a good bit since then, mind you. It’s no longer such a novelty to look up other people’s business online, as we’ve had that facility for years now. It’s still nice to know it’s there, though, just in case anyone new comes along to send me a friend request. The main takeaway from this excellent film is a negative one, sadly. Watching the disgraceful behaviour of some of the rich Harvard students in it gave me the shivers, because these are the men- it’s always men- who will one day lead the world. They are the men who’ll invent things, control things and make the big money, so big that we peasants wouldn’t really be able to comprehend it. It wouldn’t really seem real to us, do you know what I mean? But, just going by what’s in the film, growing up as the privileged ‘few’ who alone have access to the elite, exclusive clubs of Harvard doesn’t seem to be filling these young lads full of empathy and compassion for their fellow men. It’s kind of like when I saw a picture of Boris Johnson and his university chums in the news recently. All that privilege, I was thinking. All that future power. You can see it in them already. You can even smell it. Maybe one shouldn’t generalise. Maybe there’ll be a few good eggs who only want to do good in their world. It boggles the mind, though, how many of them might forget that with great power comes great responsibility. Pity, that.
AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY OF SANDRA HARRIS.
Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based novelist, poet, short story writer and film and book blogger. She has studied Creative Writing and Vampirology. She has published a number of e-books on the following topics: horror film reviews, multi-genre film reviews, women’s fiction, erotic fiction, erotic horror fiction and erotic poetry. Several new books are currently in the pipeline. You can browse or buy any of Sandra’s books by following the link below straight to her Amazon Author Page:
Her new book, THIRTEEN STOPS EARLIER, is out now from Poolbeg Books:
Her debut romantic fiction novel, ‘THIRTEEN STOPS,’ is out now from Poolbeg Books:
The sequel, ‘THIRTEEN STOPS LATER,’ is out now from Poolbeg Books: