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The Penndulum

The Social Network: The Facts, The Fiction, and The Legacy

Silas Nathan

The Social Network is a 2010 film by director David Fincher about the founding of Facebook. The movie is based on the book The Accidental Billionaires by Ben Mezrich. It stars Jesse Eisenberg as Mark Zuckerberg and Andrew Garfield as Eduardo Saverin. It was released to critical acclaim, scoring a 96% on Rotten Tomatoes. It made $224.9 million at the worldwide box office and was received well by general audiences with an 87% Rotten Tomatoes audience score, 7.8/10 on IMDB, and a 4/5 on Letterboxd.

The movie has received praise for being informative and entertaining. A student at Pennridge High School, Lucas Nathan, saw The Social Network and said, “I learned more about legal matters and how Facebook grew to become what it is today.” The influence of Facebook on modern-day society is immeasurable, and seeing how it came about is really interesting. It also dealt with the legal consequences of Zuckerberg’s actions throughout the beginning of Facebook and made the audience question the morality of the app and its founder. High school student Parker Ferguson is a huge fan of this movie, stating that she loves “to hear about how fame and wealth of developing social media changes a person.” Although the movie is highly praised, Zuckerberg has claimed that the movie misinterpreted some of his motivations and stated that the girlfriend character in the film was entirely made up, however, he noted that the film nailed his wardrobe. Ferguson didn’t have an issue with supposed claims that the movie isn’t 100% accurate and stated it’s a piece of art, not a historical retelling.

The movie makes some of the characters and their relationships with each other more dramatic than has been revealed in real life, which makes the movie more engaging and allows the actors to give incredible performances. Eisenberg has been praised for his Oscar-nominated performance as Zuckerberg. Many people claim that Eisenberg captured Zuckerberg’s mannerisms down to a tee. He gave a really nuanced performance that was interesting because, despite the fact that he was the protagonist, it was up to the audience to decide whether they wanted to root for him or not. Garfield was also fantastic in his role as Saverin. The movie also has Justin Timberlake and Rooney Mara in supporting roles. Timberlake played Sean Parker, the first President of Facebook, and Mara played Zuckerberg’s love interest, Erica Albright. Both of them do a solid job with what they are given.

Fincher has also directed movies such as Se7en, Gone Girl, Zodiac, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Fight Club, and more. He has a very distinct, dark, and mysterious style to his work, and The Social Network is no exception. The film’s color palette is made up of mostly grays, browns, and blacks. This helps add to the dreary tone of the movie, as the viewers are able to watch the characters continue to play into the melancholic atmosphere, even as their success grows. The film also has a pretty memorable score that sticks in the audience’s mind even after they finish watching the movie.

The Social Network is a highly entertaining and thought-provoking movie that tells the story of an extremely influential man in recent history. While there has been a little bit of controversy, mostly from Zuckerberg himself, about the accuracy of the story, it still remains a highly praised movie for great reason. It’s definitely a film that people should check out, especially if they have any interest in the topic.


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About the Contributors
Will Phelan, Student Writer
Will Phelan, Grade 12. Interests/hobbies include filmmaking, NHS, hanging out with friends and family, video editing, writing, and video editing. Will plans to attend the Savannah College of Art and Design to study film directing and scriptwriting and hopes to pursue a career in the film industry.
Silas Nathan, Student Writer
Silas Nathan, Grade 12. Silas's in-school involvement includes theatre, NHS, and GSA. Outside of school, they enjoy playing guitar, drumming, singing, crocheting, and drawing. They plan to attend Drexel University to study psychology or neuroscience.

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