Although it’s pretty obvious to most that I’m a bit of a social networking junkie and that I’m particularly fond of facebook (only slightly less than lovely, lovely twitter) the thought of an entire film on the origins of facebook seemed like overkill even to me. However after some particularly good reviews, Paul and I decided The Social Network was worth checking out.
The film focuses on the two lawsuits facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg), became involved in in 2007 with Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss (Armie Hammer playing both twins) who claimed that Zuckerberg stole the idea of facebook from them and separately with Eduardo Saverin (Andrew Garfield), Zuckerberg’s former best friend and co-founder who was effectively neutralised out of the business.
While the story of facebook’s world social network domination is told through a series of flashbacks the focus is not on facebook as a business or a web phenomenon but rather on Zuckerburg’s own social connections and behaviour and the irony in the fact that the world’s largest “friend network” was created by someone so socially inept. This is particularly highlighted by his first foray into social networking through facemash a hot or not style revenge attack against his ex-girlfriend as we as his interaction with Napster founder, Sean Parker (Justin Timberlake).
The story is surprisingly riveting and clever pacing and occasional bursts of situational humour make The Social Network a really rewarding watch likely to make even the most passionate facebook advocate feel slightly uncomfortable and all of us ask the question, is having a billion dollars worth it if you have to screw over everyone you care about to get to it?