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The Social Network

November 21, 2010

One man changed the way the world thinks about socializing. He invented this little website called “Facebook.”

Perhaps it was his age, his youth or just the incredible social phenomena that made him so interesting to people. Or perhaps it was the incredibly strong way that he bulldozed his way into people’s lives and declared privacy was nonsense – a little statement that affected about 500 million people across the world, people who had shared the most basic details about their lives.

He is a curiosity. Not quite at the celebrity status of some other non-movie star people, but getting there slowly. And that perhaps is what makes the movie so interesting.

The movie could’ve been boring. It is all about a bunch of geeks writing codes and talking about stuff that doesn’t even come close to the realm of most people’s understanding. There were movies made about Bill Gates and Steve Jobs  – men who revolutionized the world of technology – but it barely made a ripple (Movie: Pirates of Silicon Valley).

But The Social Network is smooth, fast-paced and witty, with an awesome soundtrack.

Jesse Eisenberg, who plays Mark Zuckerberg, is so… perfectly Zuckerberg. The images of the two men are now so confused in my head that I have to wonder if Zuckerberg had the same vulnerable look in real life.

True, he is a geek, a nerd who has incredibly retarded social skills. I am torn between feeling sorry for the guy for his sheer need to be accepted and cool or feeling contempt for the way he threw away friends and perhaps stole ideas. Eisenberg projects such an air of vulnerability that you want to wrap him up and keep him safe.

We all heard about the famous “unfeeling” part of Zuckerberg. Indeed, much of the fallout of the movie has been negative. But I wonder why? Was it because of the privacy issues that arose from Z’s comments right before the movie released?

I had heard about the famous scene when FB touched a million users and everyone was celebrating but Z just remained in the corner. I did not know about the fight he had had with his best friend, who also was the CFO, right before the event. That puts a slightly different spin on things.

So here is this super genius geek who is really desperate to be accepted and goes about it the only way he knows because else, he is always on the defensive. Is that really Zuckerberg, I have no idea. It is a little hard to talk about the movie separate from Zuckerberg… after all, that is what makes the movie so successful.

Even if you do leave out the fact that this is a real life story (which you doubt for a minute when you look at those twins – whatever their names were – the epitome of blue-blooded, heirs of a family hunks!), the story is smooth and fast and gripping.

Justin Timberlake, who is perfectly cast as the slightly sleazy and smooth-talker Sean Parker, has actually even acted in the movie. It feels a little weird to see him act but then he fits that role so perfectly well!

This isn’t a feel good movie. The ending is ambiguous… left open perhaps to continue the story, for surely there is more of the story remaining. We leave Z at a point when the lawsuit is over, while he tries to reform his life as he loses his friend.

Who is the real guy? No clue. But is sure is interesting to watch how the single website where many of us spend half our internet time on, came about. And some glimpse of the man behind it.

Was it totally negative for the guy? Everyone who has interacted with him perhaps should’ve realized that he is a little socially retarded… a genius but not much for conversation, if that is the truth. Nobody will stop using Facebook if he is rude. And investors don’t care if he is rude. All that we really care about are the privacy issues.

Image. Image. Image. In a world where walls are an illusion, or something you write on. Seriously.

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