The bizarre thing about David Fincher’s Golden Globe winning The Social Not-work is that it paints Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO, “bitch”, as an anti-hero for youth of our time: the fantastic Jesse Eisenberg cast as the mysterious murderer of privacy but with less of the pimples and more of the wicked one-liners and come-backs.
In it, Eisenberg as Zuckerberg slowly takes over the world as bitter lady repellent on his road to developer, egotist and eventually megalomaniacal egotist. He screws over everyone he knows except for Justin Timberlake’s Sean Parker, the cocaine-snorting paranoid Napster founding party animal with his “Silicon Valley sluts”.
There’s no question about the great creative direction and performances by Fincher and the cast respectively. “It’s a Wall Street for our generation,” says one hackette to TechEye.
The question is, as the LA Times rightly ponders, is how the film had an effect on Facebook – is it “Facebook’s best friend?” asks Steven Zeitchik.
Arguably it is – by dramatising the beginnings of one of the world’s most successful and youngest entrepreneurs, and shining a strange, almost affectionate light on the ruthless climb to power, it makes Zuckerberg seem less like an omnipotent geek overlord and more “one of us”. Zuckerberg, Time’s person of the year 2010, of course said the only thing that rings true is the clothes the producers stuck Eisenberg in. His critics say it probably hit a nerve.
Either way, the 26 year old is, like the rest of us, just human. But he also happens to have incredible sway on the future of the internet, privacy and data. The Social Network managed to find a likeable actor to step in his shoes and give him that sense of human angst to lift Facebook away from being just faceless.
Whether that’s a good thing or not is debatable. This scribbler didn’t care much for the film – a matter of personal taste, as writing about Zuckerberg’s ins-and-outs for a living takes the excitement out of a dramatised version – but plenty, clearly, love it.
When the trailers first appeared for “The Facebook Movie,” as it was jokingly known, most laughed: to win a Golden Globe for essentially sexing up a tale of start-up backstabbing is no mean feat.