I wasn’t too sure what to expect from it – mostly because I thought we were going to watch Skyfall! Having prepared myself for some Bond-style action I was worried it might be a bit dry.
It’s SO GOOD.
I was hooked from the opening scene; Inception-style focus. The dialogue right at the start is very, very quick, Mark and Erica firing points and counterarguments back and forth, the mood rapidly changing from date night drinks to “… did he just say that?”. You instantly get the sense of Mark’s restless mind and relentless intelligence – and slight lack of social skills. And it really does set the scene to the rest of the film, the court case. Even though Facebook swells and grows to the huge, world-conquering entitity we all know it is now, it all spirals from this.
Jesse Einberg is brilliant as Mark, and once you get over the fact that Max Minghella has the BIGGEST EYEBROWS IN THE WORLD (like seriously), the supporting cast are pretty fab too. I loved Rooney Mara as Erica, and really admired her character’s strength of mind and independence. She has the attitude and the one-liners I hope I’d have, if I ever find myself the subject of the same condescension.
The Winklevoss twins (both played by Armie Hammer – I had my suspicions while watching) were brilliant. I’d read a bit about them when the whole “you stole our idea” thing was kicking off in the press, and you really get a sense of both their self-importance and their naivety. Mark puts it well when he says, “The “Winklevii” aren’t suing me for intellectual property theft. They’re suing me because for the first time in their lives, things didn’t go exactly the way they were supposed to for them.”
Twin B (sorry, Tyler) also gets the best one-liner of the film: “I’m 6’5”, 220, and there’s two of me.”
I liked that I didn’t hate anyone at the end of it. There’s no out-and-out baddy (though I liked Justin Timberlake as an out-of-type paranoid Sean Parker). Mark’s clearly not perfect, but the fact it ends with him endlessly refreshing Erica’s facebook page just shows someone slightly awkward, slightly lonely, but very human. He may be a genius billionaire but he’s also a 21-year old. You can see why he did what he did, and we sat and puzzled out between ourselves while the credits rolled whether it did or didn’t constitute stealing an idea. Like he says in the film, if a guy invents a chair, is it theft to invent a better chair? Isn’t every idea just doing something that’s already been done, better?
That’s what I like about this kind of film: the story itself is so interesting it sparks conversation. You sit where you are once it finishes and need to talk it through. I’d love to know how true to real events it is.
It lso got me thinking about the world pre-Facebook – something I can just about remember. There’s a scene where Mark and Eduardo get all excited about a girl saying, “Facebook me” – can you imagine that being a big deal these days? I can’t remember hearing that for the first time, or ever thinking it was unusual. Nowadays Facebook isn’t just a big part of my social life, but my job too. It made me wonder (and, ever so slightly, yearn for – wouldn’t it be nice? Simpler?) about a world without Facebook. And how much it must blow Zuckerberg’s mind that he (or the twins, whoever you choose to go with!) bought it into the world.
Very very very good. Watch it!