The Social Network Review


Grace Lawlor, Staff Reporter

David Fincher’s “The Social Network” (2010) dives into the twisted, yet brilliant mind of the powerful Mark Zuckerberg. The whole film describes the process of his obviously monumental accomplishment of making the pronounced Facebook, and the various relationships, or lack thereof, he ruined throughout the process. Facing two lawsuits from people previously eager to be a part of the company’s association, Zuckerberg, played by the identical Jesse Eisenberg, maintains his nonchalance and egotistical attitude throughout. No matter what charges or consequences he faces, he is fully aware of his capabilities and brilliance. 

The brilliance of director David Fincher is exhibited through the purposeful appearance of the film, which represents the main focus of the story. From my interpretation, the thin aspect ratio symbolizes Zuckerberg’s narrow mind that is predominantly factually and scientifically focused, his weakness being in social skills and artistic value. It shows the exuberant world of college through the eyes of someone who has no interest in the social aspects of it. The muted tones used throughout the film also symbolize Mark’s monotone brain that is considerably “incapable” of carrying things with such little importance, as according to Zuckerberg. These narrow, melancholic visual aspects show that such brilliant minds, such as Zuckerberg’s, require an utter focus on things that will make them successful, no matter the price. 

This mindset and previously mentioned lack of social skills are what ultimately lead to Zuckerberg’s downfall regarding friendships. Zuckerberg created this website for people to share with friends. This idea of having friends to resonate with was a fascination of his, for he was incapable of experiencing those genuine emotions. If he couldn’t share those feelings, why not use his differently capable mind to help those evolve or start those relationships? This practice is what helped him fill the void that was missing from his own life. By the end, Zuckerberg had lost the one genuine relationship he had, which was with his previous best friend, Eduardo.

 Once Mark has gone to court with Eduardo and come to terms with the end of their friendship, he finally tries out his creation of Facebook for himself. It seemed to be his only choice, considering his present circumstances after court. Zuckerberg looks up a potential love interest to “friend” on Facebook and sits in awe of his own creation, as he falls into the same trap as his users: refreshing every second to see if someone accepted a friend request. This scene, and the whole film, ends with the Beatles’ “Baby, You’re a Rich Man.” The first line of the song being, “How does it feel to be one of the beautiful people?” meaning that he finally is a part of the billion people that have come together to utilize his creation, whose users he had once scoffed at. 

Despite his success and higher knowledge, he is still the same inside as the rest of these people he had once deemed to be lesser than him. As the last spoken line of the film states, “You’re not an a**hole. You’re just trying so hard to be,” directly contrasting a quote spoken in the very first scene by an unamused date of his where she leaves because he is an “a**hole,” thus showcasing some change in Mark. Whether that change can be viewed as productive or adverse is up to the viewer. 

Mark had always held himself on a pedestal standing tall above everybody else. He feels as if he needs to push others away in order to fulfill these ambitions and get to the top of his self-made ladder. However, this sentiment slowly fades away, as he finally realizes that he is just as human and capable of emotions as anyone else, he just needed to realize that he was. If he had realized this earlier in life, maybe he would maintain the genuine relationships he once had. This film covers the darkness, intelligence, and selfishness that becomes of any person who accomplishes these means of prosperity.