by Rick Grant
Imagine this screenplay by Aaron Sorkin to be spokes on a bicycle wheel. The hub is set in a conference room as lawyers take depositions for the lawsuit between litigants. The each spoke is a flashback story from the outer wheel to the hub.
The hub scene is a deposition: Eduardo Saverin (Andrew Garfield) is suing his former partner Mark Zuckerberg for devaluing his Facebook company stock down to zero. He has a strong case. Lawyers on both sides ask questions to both Mark and Eduardo.
Sorkin’s screenplay is a masterwork of storytelling, slowly building tension between Mark and Eduardo. Mark is a boy genius–a brilliant programmer who was only 16 when he was accepted to Harvard. Eduardo is just about the only one who can stand to be around the ever complicated character of Mark. Garfield draws a sympathetic picture of a friend being betrayed by a somewhat unappreciative Zuckerberg.
Mark’s original motivation was not about money, but beating his colleagues to expand the Harvard Facebook to other colleges, then the world. Later, when Mark realized the windfall potential of Facebook he teams up with Napster founder Sean Parker, (Justin Timberlake).
David Fincher’s pacing is indicative of the light speed of Internet changes and how an idea can go from a seed to a billion dollar company overnight. Throughout the story, viewers learn that Mark wasn’t just another programmer, but quickly saw the big picture, quicker than even his partner, Eduardo while Parker steered Mark to build the company into a must-have site, leaving venture capitalists drooling.
As Sorkin’s script explores each spoke of the wheel, it moves rapidly to portray each character effectively. The story is complexly created but easy to follow. Incredibly, the film is a period piece going back to 2003, because seven years is like two decades on the Internet, which is a living, breathing, evolving, and self-replicating matrix of ideas.
The Social Network Movie Review
by Rick Grant