To date, about 2.1 billion people log onto Facebook every single day. Though this figure is incredibly impressive, it also begs the question: just what could have possibly led to the creation of such a domineering force of the online phenomenon that is known as social media? Even if the 2010 biographical drama The Social Network isn't entirely concerned with telling this story completely accurately, it is still a gripping, brilliantly made look at how the genius of one college student, Mark Zuckerburg, led to the creation of one of the most popular websites in the world.
That isn’t to say the film portrays Zuckerburg as a nice, compassionate dude who just wants to help the world with his creation. If anything, it’s the exact opposite case; the plot is kicked off by him writing all sorts of ugly things about his girlfriend on his blog after she dumps him, even going so far as to create a website called “Facemash” to let people decide how hot the female students on his campus are.
Of course, this gets him six months of academic probation, but the site’s popularity pricks up the ears of twins Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss (along with their business partner Divya Narendra), and when they all invite him to work on the dating social network Harvard Connection, he immediately seizes this opportunity. Unfortunately, both that and the creation of--wait for it--Thefacebook(then a social network exclusive to Ivy League students) with his friend Eduardo Saverin would soon lead to friendships being broken, lawsuits being filed, and a massive legal debate between all of them over who truly owns what being started--with rather unexpected results.
While any number or boring or generic things could have been done with an adaptation of that (mostly) true-life drama, Aaron Sorkin's screenplay, though not entirely sticking to the facts of what really happened, thankfully refuses to sugarcoat any of the story’s harsher elements or indulge in any cheap melodrama, and this honesty is really refreshing, given how most “based on true life” flicks are depressingly over-sanitized for the sake of making a cheap buck or two.
However, what truly makes The Social Network worthy of preserving as a prime example of modern American filmmaking is the superb acting, unbelivably great cinematograhy, and coolly electronic score courtesyof Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor and future member Atticus Ross, and—best of all--David Fincher's (Fight Club) flawless directing, all of which make up for the historical inaccuracies and make the film one of the most compelling and utterly watchable of our time.