The Social Network (12A)

Will you be its friend?

FACEBOOK is a nothing short of a phenomenon.

Gone are the days where we used to converse with people in the pub or on the telephone.

Now it seems a person’s whole life is online and a battle to have the most friends is on.

But where and how did all this start?

David Fincher (Se7en and Fight Club) takes the reigns in The Social Network which aims to shed light on the beginnings of this internet behemoth.

Based on the novel ‘The Accidental Billionaires’, the film starts with Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg) being dumped by is girlfriend.

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Scorned by this he hacks into Harvard University computers (where he is studying) and in doing so causes their system to almost crash.

The IT genius is soon chastised for this and a newspaper report into the incident intrigues three older students who are looking for a computer programmer to help them launch a website.

The trio invite Mark in and tell them about their site and despite initially agreeing to help, he sets about setting up his own, strikingly similar domain.

Bringing his friend Eduardo Saverin (Andrew Garfield) into the deal as business manager, the two set about expanding the site.

At first things go swimmingly but soon Mark is taken in by internet legend Sean Parker (Justin Timberlake) and before long Eduardo is booted out as Facebook explodes.

The story is told from the view point of different people giving evidence at two separate legal disputes and as such it flits between the hearing and the past.

Eisenberg is spot on as the uber-nerd Zuckerberg. He comes across as a socially inept, selfish backstabber but somehow you do not hate him completely.

In fact the casting throughout is excellent with perhaps only Justin Timberlake slightly falling below.

What may seem like a well-known story does in fact make for a really good character drama with good laughs and the right emotion.