Why the Critics are Wrong about "The Social Network"

As someone who has been wanting to see “The Social Network”, I was sceptical that it was going to be able to live up to it’s 97% rating on Rotten Tomatoes – the bar seemed way too high.   Also, I wasn't convinced that Aaron Sorkin, with his rapid fire, wisecracky, yet somewhat unrealistic dialogue, was going to be able to make the movie seem natural.  On the other hand, I was encouraged by the fact that Nine Inch Nails was scoring the movie and David Fincher was directing, (Fight Club is one of my favourite book adaptations). 

The movie’s opening scene, a conversation between Zuckerberg and his girlfriend, is immediately gripping.   The dialogue is fast paced and wisecrack heavy, but it actually seems completely credible and realistic.  You get an immediate sense of what drives Zuckerberg – he wants to prove himself and be recognized - without having to resort to clumsy or ham-fisted narration.   From then on, the narrative unfolds through a  series of flashbacks invoked by questions posed in  two separate depositions.  Jesse Eisenberg’s performance is understated and nuanced. He is able to communicate a great deal without any apparent change in his facial expression.  The Winklevosses are the quintessential Harvard “crew” – handsome, fit, entitled and slightly douchey.  Their encounter with Larry Summers (who knew that  he was the Dean of Harvard) is an illuminating (although probably embellished) detail. Justin Timberlake is totally convincing as Sean Parker, the co-founder of Napster, who helped Facebook get it's first round of VC funding, although he comes across as being a bit of a dick.

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