This guest post was written by LocalList founder Jason Adriaan.
The man behind “The Social Network” is the same guy who brought you “Fight Club” – David Fincher, as a rule I can’t tell you what Fight Club is, but I can tell you what “The Social Network” is after having gone to the Cape Town premier on Monday night.
I would be lying if I told you that people expected a lot from “The Social Network”, in fact a lot of my friends, both online and off, vowed not to watch it because at the time anticipated it to be a flop, and rightfully so. How do you make a movie about a tech startup? After all, other than for Pirates of Silicon Valley, it is the first real mainstream attempt at making one. I remember thinking how I’d rather be shot with a muscle paralyzer and forced to listen to Barry Manillow for a week than watch the story of a socially inept Mark Zuckerberg for two hours straight.
The movie begins with no opening credits; we are thrown straight into what can more adequately be described as a Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg) monologue, every word some scathing remark at his then girlfriend, after which you want to get up and slap him across his face yourself. No chase scene, no murder plot, no action sequence, but it is evident from the first second of the movie that whatever this is, it will be happening at a neck breaking pace.
Jesse Eisenberg’s Mark Zuckerberg is what can only be described as some speed induced Gilmore Girl out to prove something to the world. Andrew Garfield’s Eduardo Saverin is the likable and layered character which is the ultimate victim of the Zuckerberg-Parker alliance. Sean Parker (founder of Napster) portrayed by Justin Timberlake is a fast shooting opportunist with a cool social flare. Timberlake for the first time is cast into a role which he was perfect for, unlike his previous Hollywood wrecks. The casting in this movie overall was fantastic and the acting believable and entertaining.
The Social Network is described as a drama, but having said that, the dialog is really witty and intelligent and will make you laugh, if not at least crack a smile. The script adapted from the Aaron Sorkin book “The Accidental Billionaires” is really compelling, they have taken liberties for dramatic flare but you’ll find after the movie as you read the Wikipedia article of Facebook how accurate most of the story actually is.
This movie most importantly does what I wanted it to do, give us some insight into the life of a startup in its early stages: the idea, the good and bad decisions, the relationships which ultimately end in disaster or success, and most importantly the speed at which all of this happens. Facebook grew at a record pace, here is not the story of Coca Cola or some other multinational corporation that takes years if not decades to establish; in the tech world things happen overnight. With such an intensely small time frame in which to make decisions, they need to be made quickly and at the pace Jesse Eisenberg speaks, it does.
Anyone aspiring to one day have a start-up must see this movie, and anyone interested in just a really cool movie to watch about something that is not only relevant but historic, to you I highly recommend it. You should see The Social Network at the cinema and then later buy it for your collection.