It's easy to see why Mark Zuckerberg wasn't happy with his portrayal in The Social Network. If even half of what we watch go down in the David Fincher flick is accurate, then the man should be ashamed of the way he treated those around him in Facebook's earliest days. It's certainly not stuff he would have ever wanted in the public domain.
Posing the question of whether or not you have to be a complete douchebag in the world of business and once-in-a-lifetime success, the movie showcases the cutthroat nature of the beast and in doing so, forces the audience into an odd position. In 99% of big screen releases, we have a hero to root for; a horse to back. That's not really the case here.
Sure, Zuckerberg's once-close friend Eduardo Saverin is someone we can empathise with, but it's hard to feel completely sorry for somebody who clearly just wasn't very good at their job. He's a number cruncher, but not one that managed to bring in the big bucks for Facebook following its conception, or an investment that would have helped elevate its immediate success. Instead, that job fell to Sean Parker, who knew exactly how to sniff out success and exploit it for his own gains.
Jesse Eisenberg is the actor tasked with portraying Zuckerberg, and he does a great job of making the entrepreneur incredibly unlikeable. He stars alongside Andrew Garfield with whom he shares a brilliant chemistry, but it's Justin Timberlake's performance as Parker that consistently threatens to steal the show.
He's utterly believable from the moment we meet him, luring in viewers with his charm but quickly showing how his ambition to be a billionaire will far surpass anything else in his life. You're completely drawn into his personality, but understand that if somebody gets in his way during his journey to the top, he'll cut them without a second thought.
Then there's the always-awesome Armie Hammer who takes on a dual role with the Winklevoss twins. Their personalities are so different throughout that you'd be forgiven in thinking that Hammer himself had a twin brother who decided to get involved with this film, but it's all the one actor, save for Josh Pence who served as a body double for Tyler Winklevoss.
With the films I've watched under Fincher's direction to-date, it was nice to delve into something completely different to his usual tone and style. Let's hope that the rumours of a sequel are true and that we'll be seeing Facebook's recent scandals dramatised for the world! Just make sure to invite Fincher back to the director's chair...
Note: The discussions of real-life names such as Mark Zuckerberg, Eduardo Saverin and Sean Parker in this article are in relation to their portrayal in The Social Network. Female First has no knowledge of whether or not what was shown in the film is accurate as to what happened in each individual's real and personal lives.