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The social network movie review

The Social Network Movie Review

Let me start with the very obvious thought that had come to my mind, when I first heard about the movie. It must be a bad movie! I mean, it is awkward to imagine a movie on ‘facebook’ and ‘interesting’ in the same sentence. Well actually it works, interestingly – and at many levels.

It is definitely a movie that speaks of the current age but more on that later.

The Plotline

In 2003, Harvard University student Mark Zuckerberg creates a website called “Facemash” to rate the attractiveness of female Harvard undergraduates. The site is a runaway success, getting 22,000 hits in less than two hours and crashes Harvard’s server.

Punished with academic probation, Mark gets himself a job as the programmer for the website, Harvard Connection, initiated by Winklevoss twins. However, Mark in partnership with his friend, Eduardo, takes the idea further and launches what he calls “TheFacebook”.

With the growing popularity of The Facebook, they expand to other schools. Soon, Mark and Eduardo meet Napster co-founder Sean Parker, who suggests that they drop “The” from “TheFacebook”. Facebook shifts base to Palo Alto and gets its first investment from an Angel Investor, again through Parker’s contacts.

Andrew Garfield in the Social Network movie

Andrew Garfield in the Social Network

On the face of it

It looks like a plain and uninspiring story, doesn’t it? Actually, this is more or less the story known to many of us about Facebook. And that is the reason I have purposely left a lot of key points, unsaid here. These are the points that make for a great movie viewing experience with The Social Network.

This movie sets its tone at the very outset and takes no time in coming to the point. Even the narrative structure is very smartly executed with storylines interjecting with each other from time to time. Let me state here that executing broken timelines in terms of screenplay is a very big challenge.

But Aaron Sorkin leaves no room for dull moments, adapting his screenplay from Ben Mezrich’s 2009 nonfiction book The Accidental Billionaires. His choice of dialogues is very unique. Look out for rapid-fire dialogues; they are a good showcase of Sorkin’s genius writing style. “You’re not an a***ole, you’re just trying so hard to be”.

Even though the film is about facebook, don’t expect it to have a wall post you could simply read and decipher. Like David Fincher’s previous works, “Se7en” and “Fight Club”, the focus stays on things behind the scenes. Stuff like greed, deception and friendship gets a lot of mentions. If you have followed his style of filmmaking, you would understand when I say that this film is truly a Fincher film.

The cinematography of this film is absolutely brilliant. Fincher, with his director of photography Jeff Cronenweth, captures a distinct look like his previous films. Shot using the RED one camera, the framing and lighting is simply incredible. At the same time, the focal point of every scene is kept intact. If one was to convert random frames from the movie into a photograph and enter a contest, the results are obvious.

Though the cast consists of new-comers or unknowns, the movie is an acting powerhouse. Jesse Eisenberg as Mark Zuckerberg deserves a special mention. Known mostly for his comic roles till now, Eisenberg excels as a cold and calculated anti-hero whose ambitions are beyond the ordinary. Andrew Garfield as his best friend and co-founder of Facebook, is very true to his sympathetic character. These are the actors to watch out for in the coming years!

Even Justin Timberlake surprises you as the bankrupt Napster founder, Sean Parker. Arnie Hammer is remarkable in double role of Winklevoss twins.

Extra doses

  • David Fincher was under contract to keep this movie’s running time close to two hours. For the same, he asked his actors to deliver their dialogues at a faster pace.
  • Two unrelated actors were chosen for the role of Winklevoss twins. However, in the movie, we only see Arnie Hammer. This is because Arnie Hammer was shot speaking the lines of both the brothers and interlaced using CGI.


I think it is a great irony that the creator of the ultimate social networking platform lost acceptance from everyone that once befriended him. It is rightly said that greed sees nothing else. And when it does, being at the top becomes all the more lonely. With so many youngsters turning entrepreneurs, this should prove to be a significant film.

Ambitions and aspirations make for a good economy but relationships make for a great society.

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About the Author:

Himanshu Khanna is the founder of Pixelonomics and a senior designer at Sparklin. If you’d like to connect with him, follow him on Twitter: @SparklinGuy

  • Vishal

    Thanks for sharing .. I might watch it tomorrow… :)

  • Pallavi Puri

    Exhaustive yet not a spoiler :) Good Job!!

  • Dipal

    Having seen the movie last week, I agree with most of what you have said in this review. I went into the cinema with low expectations but was pleasantly surprised at how well the movie was made, as well as the amazing acting…Last but not the least, great job with writing this review! :)

  • Santanu Paul

    Ambitions and aspirations make for a good economy but relationships make for a great society. <— Nice thought Himanshu. Even when I first heard of the movie, I was very much skeptical. But then, David Fincher hardly ever goes wrong. Nobody generates as much intensity in a film as this man. Its a must watch film.

  • Arun Srini

    The end note is very good ..

  • Aanchal Manchanda

    well written review!! the extra doses were also nice..:)

  • Aarti

    Now that’s wanting me to watch what this filck is all about!… very well written Himz… keep the good work coming! xx


  • Ankita Saikia

    I like this briefly written review.And I think this is well expressed to take me to the theater. Good work.

  • Deepikah Arora

    I still have to see it! Nice read! loved this line “Ambitions and aspirations make for a good economy but relationships make for a great society.”

  • Manya Sharma

    Planned to see it. now by reading the review its seems it worth to watch. very well written review….find such after so long…thanks :))

  • Heather

    I will plan to see the film with great expectation. Wonderful review of the movie!

  • DavidJohn

    A fascinating film with brilliant direction by David Fincher, and a intelligent and sophisticated screenplay by Aaron Sorkin.

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