Movie review: Sign up now for ‘Social Network’ |

Movie review: Sign up now for ‘Social Network’

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From its opening scene, “The Social Network” contains some of the best repartee in movie history. And from there, it just keeps getting juicier.

Based on public records of Harvard genius Mark Zuckerberg, “The Social Network” dramatizes the creation of Facebook – a social phenomenon so enormous that, if compared to countries, would rank No. 3 in population size, just behind China and India (and outweighing the United States by approximately 100 million people).

Exactly how accurately the movie portrays Zuckerberg’s personality and motives is debatable; Zuckerberg argues the movie is fictional, other than the fact that it properly names his two cohorts. But screenwriter Aaron Sorkin and director David Fincher stand behind the film’s accuracy, asserting they based the story on depositions and public records, which reveal that Zuckerberg hacked into Harvard’s database, created an entertaining, but scathing, site (which turned plenty of women against him) while drunk, and later built Facebook, moved the company to California, partnered with Napster-founder Sean Parker (and then Peter Thiel) and eventually faced allegations of stealing intellectual property from fellow Harvard students.

So, it’s hard to say whether Zuckerberg’s conversation is nearly always acerbic when dealing with girls and authorities, but it’s safe to say Sorkin and Fincher’s portrayal of Zuckerberg as a smart ass is rousing to watch: Zuckerberg is a classic example of someone you’d love to hate – but at the same time, you just have to admire him for his wit and balls.

“The Social Network” manages to capture a stimulating essence, which mirrors the lure of Facebook itself. It characterizes fascinating people, allowing their personality flaws and strengths to spill all over the screen. It creates an addictive tension, captivating viewers to keep their eyes (and ears) glued to the screen, as the case may be. It depicts an amazing story. And it makes you wonder – wonder if an intense breakup could launch a billon-dollar company, wonder if Zuckerberg is really a basically friendless jerk (with plenty of cyberspace friends) and wonder what really went on in his mind as he postponed building a social networking site for older students who shared their idea with him, while simultaneously putting Facebook into play.

Aside from Zuckerberg, “The Social Network” highlights plenty of other psychologically interesting characters, particularly Parker, depicted as a paranoid drug user who seems to spark magic whenever he decides to snap his fingers.

It’s no surprise the film ended up at the top of last weekend’s gross sales, at $23 million. Just like Facebook grew through word-of-mouth, it’s a good bet people will spread word about the incredible dialogue you can’t help but at least chuckle at, the characterization, the acting, the courtroom-type drama and the story itself.

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