Facebook film is a great piece of work

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg said he won’t be going to the cinema to watch the film about how he set up the social networking site.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 19th October 2010, 6:38 pm

Apparently the film makers got a lot of the big things wrong and random details right.

But anyone else who has heard of the site, and will no doubt be a member, should definitely pay a visit to watch one of the best films of the year.

Everything about it kept me hooked from start to finish – the actors, the script and of course the intriguing story about how a nerdy Harvard university student became the world’s youngest billionaire.

The movie begins at Harvard in 2003 when student Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg) is being dumped by his girlfriend, Erica (Rooney Mara).

Some critics have raved about this opening sequence, but if I’m being honest, it wasn’t that special and I struggled to keep up with what was going on.

The break-up led to Zuckerberg running back to his halls of residence and in drunken state and egged on by his room mates, he eases past Harvard computer security and creates a website inviting users to rates the attractiveness of the college’s female students.

Within hours thousands of students have accessed the FaceMash website and crashes the severs, alerting the college’s authorities.

The website attracts the attention of twin brothers Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss who want him to create a Harvard social networking site – for “the gentlemen of Harvard.”

Instead he delays the twins, fobbing them off with excuses about why he can’t meet and why the website isn’t ready.

In the meantime he and his friend Eduardo (Andrew Garfield) come up with thefacebook.com.

His suave pal puts up the cash to start the website and there the business partners begin on their road to success and worldwide recognition.

The film intersperses the tale with recreations of legal battles that followed the site’s global success.

Lawsuit number one – the Winklevoss twins (Armie Hammer, who plays both Cameron and Tyler) sue Zuckerberg because, in a nutshell, they felt Zuckerberg stole their idea - and broke Harvard law.

Lawsuit number two – Zuckerberg’s friend and business partner Eduardo.

After stumping up the cash and labouring tirelessly to drum up advertising revenue for the site he is ousted by his friend for being reluctant to move with the expanding Facebook operation to Palo Alto in California.

Instead Zuckerberg is influenced by the ambitious Sean Parker (Justin Timberlake) – an old-hand when it comes to starting a website having previously co-founded record industry-hating Napster.

Jesse Eisenberg is brilliant as Zuckerberg and develops a character that you do not know whether to love or hate.

As for Zuckerberg himself, he seems a person that thinks he is so far advanced than anyone else that others struggle to keep up with him.

He needs to continuously blog about his life and stay connected with his friends through Facebook.

The film focuses more on the relationships, revenge and betrayal that surrounds Facebook rather than about the site itself and the talent put into making it.

It’s an excellent film that will keep you gripped from start to finish.

Screenwriter Aaron Sorkin has created a gripping and compelling film, which is appealing whether or not you are a fan of Facebook.

The only downside is that it leaves you with an urge to find out which bits of the film are true and which are in purely in there for our viewing pleasure.

Sam Chetwynd

Star rating HHHH