The Social Network (2010): “You are probably going to be a very successful computer person.”

social_networkFacebook has forever changed the way people socialise, for better or worse. The Social Network (2010), directed by David Fincher, tells the story of Facebook’s humble beginnings – with Mark Zuckerberg (played by Jesse Eisenberg) and his college friend Eduardo Saverin (Andrew Garfield) setting up the site, along with notorious entrepreneur Sean Parker (Justin Timberlake) to hone the marketing side. The film follows a multi-layered narrative where the auspicious beginnings of the social networking phenomenon are shown, and the development of the business surrounding it, whilst simultaneously showing the later court case where certain stakeholders are challenging Zuckerberg to give them their share of Facebook’s profits.

After watching Gone Girl (2014), I had the suddern urge to re-watch this. I noted in my review of Gone Girl that that film didn’t feel like a ‘Fincher film’ – one where the directorial prowess of David Fincher, and his signature filmmaking style and aesthetic, is present every second of the film. The Social Network is a ‘Fincher film’ by every definition of the term. From the clever and fast paced script by Aaron Sorkin, to the grimy and clinical directing style and cinematography, The Social Network is a very striking film indeed.

It’s the cinematography and visuals of the film that impress me upon every viewing, however. (And the music by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, but that’s for another post.) The cinematographer of The Social Network is Jeff Cronenweth, who has also worked with David Fincher on Fight Club (1999), The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (2011), and Gone Girl. Cronenweth definitely seems to have a signature style when he works with Fincher. In this film, each frame seems to have a slightly greenish-yellow hue, kind of like the way the sky looks before a big storm – reminding the viewer of something that is putrefying or spoiling. The use of light in particular is fantastic and lends a different character to each scene, and every frame seems balanced, if not symmetrical. The visuals look sleek and modern, as if they’ve been coded intentionally to craft something that is satisfying to look upon. The one scene that always blows my mind in terms of cinematography is the rowing race scene, which really has to be seen to be believed – the perfect balance between amazing direction, cinematography, and music.

Every time I watch The Social Network I’m stunned by the excellent script and dialogue, and the awesome visuals. Below is a selection of some of my favourite shots from the film, mixed up in order to avoid spoilers.

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4/5
Watch the trailer here.

Watch this film at Amazon!

22 comments

  1. Jesse Eisenberg gets in my craw. I can’t stand him and hate his acting. He really rubs me the wrong way or as Kath would say “he gets on my goat”.

    1. Haha! I occasionally find him too awkward for words but I like him here. He does tend to get on a lot of people’s goats though!

  2. I can remember Eisenberg from Roger Dodger. Fincher is very hit and miss for me. Nice review.

  3. Nice review – I HATED this movie 😦

    1. I remember, did you write a post on this for Shitfest? Was it Jesse Eisenberg’s punchable face that makes you hate it?

      1. I did and YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!

        #punchies

  4. I loved this movie, and I really have the urge to watch it again as well. I love Eisenberg, I don’t care what anyone says! lol

    1. I love it too! But it does seem to be detested by a lot of people too, funny that!

  5. I liked this movie. It was actually quite the surprise for me. I don’t know if it is the critical darling masterpiece that some proclaim it to be but I like it quite a bit.

    1. It’s funny, I’m not sure many people expected the story to be so interesting. Turns out Fincher could probably make the most boring of topics extremely interesting!

  6. Another solid film. This is why David Fincher is one of my favorite directors!

    1. I’m starting to think he’s one of my favourites as well! It just seems like every one of his films is near perfect.

  7. I really enjoyed this film. Considering all the hate for it I’m glad I’m not alone!

    1. I’m sort of surprised that there’s a lot of hate for it! I’m assuming it’s because a lot of people find Jesse Eisenberg insufferable, but I don’t mind him here!

  8. I too was thinking about this when i was watching Gone Girl, but feel that it doesn’t fit into Finchers dark world as much, re-watch is in order to see what I really think. Good review as always.

    1. Thanks heaps! 🙂 One day I want to re-watch all of his films in order to actually pinpoint what it is that makes his films so Fincher-y.

  9. I have to admit I am not a fan of this movie. I love Fincher, just not crazy about this movie. I do love the aesthetics and style that is oh so Fincher. Lovely shots.

    1. You’re definitely not alone in not being a fan of this one! 🙂 It’s quite the divisive film!

      1. I know right, I don’t know what it is, but I just didn’t care for it as much as his other films.

  10. Captivating film, well written review! I also give emphasis on production not just the casts, to realize their importance and how they were able to make such films come to life. David Fincher’s works are resonating and an absolute must see. All the best!

  11. […] Jeff Cronenweth, as they had previously worked very successfully together on Fight Club (1999), The Social Network (2010), and Gone Girl (2014). These two seem to be a very winning combination, as what has resulted […]

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