I honestly didn’t feel like writing this review. It’s been nearly a month since I was at the cinema, and have only just now summoned the will to get this done. The movie itself was fine – great even – but I think just about everything that could be said about already has.
We live in a world rife with social media, where hordes of people pick apart every little detail all over the world, in real time. Therefore it’s not difficult to find thorough and thoughtful analyses of every aspect of the story behind The Social Network, both the real and the imagined parts. So what’s left to tell? I’m not in the business of writing reviews just for the sake of applying my own personal stamp of approval.* I set myself a goal to write something about every movie that I see at the cinemas, and I do my best to bring a geeky perspective to what I review, but in this case I’m hopelessly out-geeked. Still, indulge me a few words as I add my thoughts to the cacophony to make peace with my authorly conscience.
This is a story set in the present. It’s documenting history almost immediately as it happens. That’s kind of creepy, if you consider the ramifications of having the world that you live being interpreted for you by somebody else. Then again, this already happens every day with mainstream media, although, cynicism aside, the media does not exist purely to entertain, and this movie does not exist to report. Pity Mark Zuckerberg then, a young person who now has to live the rest of his life defined by what the general public thinks they know about him through this fictionalised account of his past, quite separate from reality (although very little of his life parallels any kind of reality experienced by other people).
Yet the movie portrayal will hardly elicit sympathy from viewers; Zuckerberg is portrayed as self-absorbed, cold and ruthless at the expense of his personal relationships – his girlfriend at the beginning of the movie, and his best friend by the end of it. After the viewing, Jenny immediately deactivated her Facebook account. She was never really sold on the whole idea of publishing your every thought and move for all to see, and the odiousness of Facebook’s origins was the tipping point. She now thinks of the social network as an evil kingdom presided over by a despotic ruler.
I, on the other hand, welcome our new geeky overlord.
* I intend to elaborate on this comment over at cyberseraphic, but it’s another post that I’m procrastinating over.