The Social Network: You Don’t Get to 500 Million Friends… (2010)

Posted: February 5, 2011 in Biography, Drama, History

The development of the world’s largest social network gets chronicled in a dramatic retelling of the controversial rise of Mark Zuckerberg as a cultural icon. While coding and blogging in his room, Zuckerberg falls on an idea to create an online network at Harvard University. Though unclear about the extent to which he may have stolen information, he finds himself in conflict with the Winklevoss twins, two of the leaders of Harvard’s most elite fraternity. With his friend, Eduardo Saverin, and the help of his new partner, Sean Parker, Zuckerberg moves to California, starts up a small company of programmers and expands into an internet empire. Surrounding his success, the Winklevosses and Saverin bring claims of fraud, theft and disloyalty, threatening to tarnish Zuckerberg’s success.

Starring: Jesse Eisenberg (Mark Zuckerberg), Rooney Mara (Erica Albright), Andrew Garfield (Eduardo Saverin), Joseph Mazzello (Dustin Moskovitz), Patrick Mapel (Chris Hughes), Armie Hammer (Cameron/Tyler Winklevoss), Josh Pence (Tyler Winklevoss), Justin Timberlake (Sean Parker)

Jesse Eisenberg finds himself playing the role of one of the most influential internet personalities in the history of the internet. Though the media challenges his portrayal of the icon as cold and socially-isolated, the combination of Eisenberg’s success in the role and Zuckerberg’s willingness to accept the movie’s release has provided him recognition for his acting. Overall, the rest of the cast does a great job supporting their lead as he creates a story out of the creation of Facebook.

The significance of this movie is less because of the acting and the story and more because of its significance representing a generation. Facebook has completely changed the landscape of how we communicate as a people. The population on the social network continues to climb each day, as competitors fail to challenge the site’s success. There were initial challenges with the film’s representation of Zuckerberg, as many felt the representation of him was strongly negative. He has since continued to revel in the movie’s success and the positive attention the media and viewers have provided him, including a chance to appear on Saturday Night Live. It is unusual to have a significant historic story make such a strong impact that it quickly gets recognized in a film like this one.

The success of Facebook and its creator, even in the midst of legal battles, is so iconic that this film serves to represent the value of ingenuity. It will continue to serve as a snapshot of the definition of this generation.

Dan’s Rating: 4.5/5

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