Aaron Sorkin’s The Social Network is that rarest of things – an intelligent Hollywood movie totally absent of cheap thrills, stunts, or special effects and which assumes equal intelligence on the part of the audience as it tells a complex and, at times, emotional story of young people and the business decisions they made.
Based on Ben Mezrich’s book The Social Network, the film tells the story of two separate lawsuits filed against Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, played here by Jesse Eisenberg.
In each suit Zuckerberg’s former best friend Eduardo Saverin (Andrew Garfield) plays a crucial role – in the first he’s the plaintiff in a suit where he alleges his share of the company was unfairly diluted, the second sees him as star witness in a case claim brought by two brothers who claim they hired Zuckerberg to develop a site for them only for him to bail out and instead develop his own similar project.
As in real life, the lawsuits are heavily contested by Zuckerberg and, as noted in our accompanying feature, Sorkin script avoids labelling any of the three versions of events as ‘The Truth’ and instead uses the device of each suit’s deposition takings to portray the claims and counterclaims.
Director David Fincher brilliantly navigates the film through the various complex and often emotionally charged versions of events and the film benefits enormously from stand-out performances from leads Eisenberg, Garfield and Justin Timberlake who plays the temptress central to the Zuckerberg/Saverin dispute.
A clutch of awards must surely follow for this ‘must see’ film.
The Social Network arrives in cinemas across the UK 15th October
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