Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Lonely friend of the millions

What’s your profile on Facebook? – it’s increasingly common question among friends. If you don’t have an account on Facebook it’s as if you didn’t exist. And it’s not just about Internet geeks. More and more companies, institutions and offices have profiles on FB. It’s now undoubtedly the most popular social networking site in the world, with more than 600 million users.

Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg has over twenty years and is already one of the richest men in the world. His company is worth over 50 billion dollars. It’s impressive. It’s not surprising that Zuckerberg didn’t have to wait until old age until someone will have made a film about him.
This movie has been already made. It was directed by David Fincher (director of such movies as: “Alien 3”, “Seven”, “Fight Club”, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”). He tries to show the success achieved by the young American.

The film begins in 2003 when Zuckerberg was a student at Harvard. He’s a gifted IT geek. He developes Facemash used to compare photos of female students, which causes a lot of controversy. When its creator becomes known after blocking the university network, the Winklevoss brothers pay attention to him. They want to create a campus community portal and entrust this task to Mark. He picks up this idea, but creates his own portal, which is called TheFaceBook (later “The” has been dropped). Site is rapidly becoming the most popular portal in college, then in the country, and within a few years in many countries around the world.

The film shows the stages of the formation of FB on two levels. One is a meeting of lawyers and three sides (Zuckerberg, Winklevoss brothers and Eduardo Saverin, who put up the money for a construction of the site), each claiming their rights to the portal. The second – are flashbacks of events through the eyes of each party.
Who can prove their own point? Completion is known to the audience, Zuckerberg is considered the creator of the site. But to settle things he had to pay quite a bit, which means that the case wasn’t so simple. On the other hand, he could devote a small portion of future profits to resolve the matter quickly.
It should be remembered that this is a movie, not a document, and that the story presented here misses the truth in a few places.

I must admit that I tried to avoid this film for a long time, but I finally gave up. I have a profile on Facebook and I thought I should know where the phenomenon has come from. I felt a bit disappointed because the film is wordy. It stretches unmercifully. On the other hand, what else could be expected – lawyers were not able to draw from the shadow an unprecedented evidence or witness, concealed daughter, ex-wife, etc., as often happens in films which action takes place in the courtroom.
I must admit that Fincher tries to be objective: he doesn’t describe Zuckerberg as a nice guy, a victim of greedy colleagues. He
shows that although the idea was to create a site to exchange contacts, ideas, images, etc., when Zuckerberg realized how powerful this portal has been becoming, he didn’t hesitate even when he had to betray those who supported and trusted him. The film shows an unpleasant man, confident of his own genius, a man who gives sh**.

This movie also shows how you a career can be made today, sometimes in a year or two. What is needed is the idea (sometimes the simplest ones are the best), some money, but also hard work, and it often requires the destruction of relationships with those who are closest to us. Such price shall be paid by the creator of Facebook, who loses his only true friend.

“The Social Network”, dir. David Fincher; screenplay: Aaron Sorkin; USA; starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, Army Hammer, Justin Timberlake. The film has eight Oscar nominations. The results will be announced on February 27.

Movie trailer

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