socialnetwork

Spoiler Warning: The Social Network is not a movie that can be spoiled by mere plot details, as most of those plot details are revealed within the first 20 minutes. Regardless, if you’re hoping to go into the film fresh, you should obviously avoid this review.

There’s a hopeful, almost celebratory moment in The Social Network when Napster-creator Sean Parker declares to Facebook-creator Mark Zuckerberg, “This is our time!” And that, at its core, is what the film is about: the era of the geek; the triumph of the reject; the rebellion of the social outcast. Where once business relied heavily on having a wealthy, privileged, image-centric mediator to buy and sell smarter people’s work, the Internet has made way for a generation of 20-somethings that no longer need to rely on the societal rules of generations past to secure a billion dollar enterprise. In this digital age, geeks have a platform filled with possibilities, and as the president of Harvard so succinctly puts it, “Inventing a job is better than getting one.” In this digital age, the geeks rule. And with their newfound power, they say “Fuck you” to those unwilling to accept that they are no longer in control.

Tragically, for many of the well-meaning characters in The Social Network, they are on the receiving end of that “Fuck you”.

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The Social Network is a marvel of meticulous construction. At no point during the film’s 2+ hour runtime did I feel as though it was anything less than a masterwork of two creative artists – director David Fincher and screenwriter Aaron Sorkin – at the top of their respective games. There has been a lot of discussion about how the film captures the cultural zeitgeist and how it simultaneously taps in to the excitement, the promise, the greed, and the petty angst of millenials. But more than any of that, The Social Network is a gripping story about what happens when friends decide to succumb to their inner demons, and how those decisions come to haunt them forever.
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