News / Arts & Entertainment

'The Social Network' Traces the Creation - on a Whim - of Facebook

Andrew Garfield, left, and Jesse Eisenberg stars as 'Mark Zuckerberg' in Columbia Pictures' "The Social Network"
Andrew Garfield, left, and Jesse Eisenberg stars as 'Mark Zuckerberg' in Columbia Pictures' "The Social Network"
TEXT SIZE - +
Penelope Poulou

"The Social Network" is the latest brainchild of acclaimed filmmaker David Fincher and the masterful screenwriter Aaron Sorkin. It's an in-depth study of Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg presented in the movie as a visionary who is unable to emotionally connect with others. And it's of interest because Facebook now has 500 million members and Zuckerberg, in real life, is one of the youngest media magnates.

Harvard student Mark Zuckerberg - played in the movie by Jesse Eisenberg - was not after money when he was creating Facebook.

Screenwriter Aaron Sorkin says, "It seems to me there are two motivations. He wants to get invited to the cool kids' table. The other motivation:  He had a creative vision."

Another reason, the movie insinuates, was revenge. While at Harvard, Mark was spurned by his girlfriend. He wanted to get back at her.

The film portrays Zuckerberg as someone who understands numbers better than people.

The film also questions Zuckerberg's ethics. In real life, he was sued for allegedly stealing the idea for Facebook from other Harvard students and for pushing out his best friend and co-founder Eduardo Saverin.

The suits were settled out of court.

Actor Jesse Eisenberg interprets Zuckerberg as defiant. But he also humanizes the character by portraying him as excessively dedicated to his vision. "In the movie, his roomate Eduardo Saverin, who gives him 20,000 dollars to start the company, wants to take the company in a different direction, and I think Mark prioritizes Facebook above that personal relationship," he says.

Today, 500 million people the world over are connected to Facebook. So, it comes as no surprise that the film topped the box office when it first came out. On the day of the premiere, moviegoers weighed in about Facebook's founder and Facebook itself.

"I'm sorry for the young people because with these morals we're not going to have a world that's worth living," said one woman.

"It gave you a good look of what big businesses are like," said a man who saw the movie.

The movie's debut coincided with the suicide of college student Tyler Clementi, who jumped off the George Washington bridge in New York City after his sexual encounter with a male friend was taped and streamed live on the Internet. Clementi had announced his impending suicide on his Facebook page.

This tragedy should not detract from the artfulness of "The Social Network." This is an Oscar-worthy film about the human condition with a stellar cast and crisp dialogue. It chronicles the journey of a genius from relative obscurity to dizzying success.

You May Like

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid

New in Music Alley

Beyond Category

Saxophonist Craig Handy has an exciting new band called 2nd Line Smith, which combines the organ-jazz repertoire of Jimmy Smith with the “second line” rhythms of New Orleans parade music. Craig Handy joins "Beyond Category" host Eric Felten at Washington’s Bohemian Caverns jazz club to talk about the music and perform with the band.