October 2 2010, 04:08 AM
Location: Kingston, Ontario, Canada
Re: Movies Seen in 2010
70. The American (B+)
71. The Kids Are All Right (B+)
72. The English Patient (A-)
73. The Town (B+)
74. The Social Network (A)
One of the major debates among the critics is whether the film is a hatchet-job on Zuckerberg; some people (including the Z-man himself) say it is, a lot of the critics say it's more complicated.
I can't speak to whether it's a "hatchet-job", since to me that denotes false accusations, and I don't know enough to say how accurate all this is: but in terms of the story the movie presents, I'd say it's a pretty negative depiction. He comes across as having some sort of socialization problem, and rather gratuitously backstabs two different parties for motives that remain rather obscure; indeed, in a lot of ways I was surprised how much the movie really declines to characterize Zuckerberg. You come away feeling you know Eduardo, the Winklevosses', even Sean Parker, better than you really know him. Of course, he wasn't involved in this movie, but Sorkin could easily have given us his take on Zuckerberg's motives, etc., but declines to do so (various people speculate as to his motives).
The most obvious reading is that this is sort of the 21st century Citizen Kane, with Zuckerberg left alone at the top, constantly refreshing his browser to try and make contact with the girl who dumped him and set off the whole chain of events (in constrast with Sean Parker, who says he doesn't think at all about the girl who led to him creating Napster).
There is certainly some complexity in the way the characters interact that is atypical for stories like this: for instance, Sean Parker is a sort of Mephistopheles character leading the protagonist into new levels of douchey behaviour, but Parker's right, and Eduardo is wrong. And, from what we see, Parker doesn't have any real ulterior motives; he's a party-boy, but he seems like he buys into his philosophy. Eduardo is out of his depth past a certain point - not that this excuses the way Zuckerberg and co. treat him.
Great performances all around.
Story-wise, I did think the film sort of just ended, rather than concluding in any real way.
"I'm a white male, age 18 to 49. Everyone listens to me, no matter how dumb my suggestions are!"
- Homer Simpson