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Category: Entertainment

The Social Network: Closes at the Open

Written on September 29, 2010 by Japhet Writ

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From Harvard to around the globe, Facebook has been a hit to many internet users as it changed the way people communicate online. But not everyone knows the story behind the most-loved social networking site.

In it superficial sense, is a story of how materialized since its inception six years ago. But at its very core, it is a tale of success, failure and trappings of ego and greed. And though the film is based on real people and events, the proceedings and characters were invented for the screen. In a cinematic perspective, “the ” is a fictional narrative and not a documentary.

The Beginning

The film starts with a five-minute conversation between a 19-year-old (portrayed by ) and his girlfriend. Speaking in a thousand words per minute and involuntarily insulting his lady’s background, intellect and future life prospects, the girl tells Zuckerberg off. This scene, which is loosely based on The Accidental Billionaires by Ben Mezrich, introduces the audience to a brilliant but deeply insecure . It also sets up the motive behind Facemash — Facebook’s precursor. Bringing down the university’s network and getting in some trouble with the administration, Mark was made outcast in the campus that leads him to Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss’ attention.

The privileged twins together with their friend, Divya Narendra, aims to build a social dating site for Harvard men, wherein Mark will work on the code. Agreeing with the idea, it spawned inside his head and becomes what we all know now as Facebook. Partnering with his best friend and financier, (played by ), Mark builds the Facebook, followed by a viral spread of user adoption.

The Hanging End

Akin to a 2007 film – Zodiac – the film’s focus and point of view shifts in a present-day setting, wherein Zuckerberg, Saverin and the Winklevoss twins face a lawsuit over ownership and business dealings of Facebook. Court proceedings and depositions were used to build out the narrative, and testimony leads to flashbacks. The subtle hues influenced the energy there is in a scene. And the following acts involves the dramatic ascend of Facebook and the breakdown of Zuckerberg and Saverin’s friendship.

While not all credit should go to the CEO, Saverin had run the business of Facebook, making it partly what it is today. Another character that deserves to take home the bacon is (played by Justin Timberlake.) Parker, the founder of Napster, was instrumental in making Facebook the money-maker that it is today. Still, no matter how brilliant Timberlake is in the film, his character seems like a little more than a plot device. He served as a catalyst for Zuckerberg to go to Palo Alto in the summer of 2004 — the time when Facebook really turned the page. But the film, though it is a story of beginnings, ends abruptly where people seems to start.

The Overnight Success

On its surface, The Social Network is a story about greed and ego, and how money and fame can change people. On a larger scale, it is a movie of what happens when success literally happens over night to a college drop out. Indeed, the movie underscores its tag line: “You don’t get 500 million friends, without making a few enemies.”

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