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The Social Network back to reviews
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Great movie let down by reality and it's own greatness
The Social Network is funny, fast-paced with natural feeling characters and an engrossing subject. The relationship between the founder of Facebook and his one and only friend whose suing him is brilliant and it will rarely ever feel slow.

These are the faults of the movie. Because it's fast-paced and about an engrossing subject the film will be great right up to the end where it won't. The story of Facebook isn't finished yet, it hasn't even got passed the introduction stage. Facebook came from nothing to be everything but there was very little conflict through the way, the film presents it's rise (as it probably is) as something which became huge before people even really knew what it was and had time to blink. The great problem that Facebook will face hasn't been faced yet, there hasn't been a harrowing conflict and defeat and so no last act that resolves it.

It's a testament to the skill of the director and writers that by the end of the film, that not only is the plot still feeling like it's in the initial introduction phase, but the film itself feels like that. I don't know how long it is, but I was so engrossed that by the end it hadn't felt like quarter of an hour yet.

Should you see it? Yeah almost certainly, it's a film only held back by it's greatness, it's just that's it's never going to be quite as good and fulfilling as a film can be
"The story of Facebook isn't finished yet, it hasn't even got passed the introduction stage"

This movie wasn't about the entire history of Facebook, it was about how Facebook started and various lawsuits against its founder.

"The great problem that Facebook will face hasn't been faced yet"

The problem that Zuckerberg faced in being sued has been faced, and that was what the movie was about.

"there hasn't been a harrowing conflict and defeat and so no last act that resolves it"

But there was a last act to resolve what the movie was about. You can go ahead and make another movie when whatever harrowing conflict you're looking for happens.

comment #10617 tublecane 7th Oct 11
But the law suits weren't presented as a conflict really I mean 1. They only actually got resolved in black text after the end and if you're claiming they're the conflict of the movie then you're claiming it had even more of a non-ending than I'm claiming.

2. The whole point of them, which is stated at the end of the film is they have the weight of a parking fine and he can just pay them and carry on.

The film was about the founding of Facebook, the lawsuits were a framing device not a conflict. It was presented right at the start and no emphasis was put on their results. So it was a good story but a story without an end.

?What was the last act resolution? I must have missed it? I assumed when I was watching it that it was the napster thing but even that got a he still owns x share in the company which wasn't a resolution.

I'm not trying to diss your view out of hand and I'm not trying to make fun of a film you liked, I just genuinely can't see any form of conflict resolution/last act. I loved the film but I wanted to watch another hour of it
comment #10645 Tomwithnonumbers 8th Oct 11 (edited by: Tomwithnonumbers)
"The film was about the founding of Facebook, the lawsuits were a framing device not a conflict"

Well, not strictly speaking, since the lawsuits were a direct result of the conflict within the origin, and contained within them the same dramatic tension, even though they were mostly excuses for flashbacks. But, yeah, duh. How does this contradict what I said, which was that the movie is about Facebook's origins and the lawsuits that followed, rather than the enite history of Zuckerberg and Facebook? Them being a "framing device" doesn't mean the movie wasn't about them.

You do know what a frame does, right? It draws a border between the work of art and the rest of the world, in this case between the story of "The Social Network" and "the story of Facebook," which you rightly say isn't finished yet. Who cares if that story isn't finished? This movie was not that story. It was the story of the foundign of a company and the lawsuits that followed, or, depending on how you look at it, a couple of legal proceedings and the flashbacks they are based upon.
comment #10686 tublecane 10th Oct 11
"But the law suits weren't presented as a conflict really"

There certainly was conflict within them, but I'll grant, yes, they weren't the main conflict, not "really." It's more about the conflicts that ultimately led to the lawsuits, which we see in flashback. The fact that we know they eventually lead to lawsuits, though, is fundamentally important. Which is why I'd place the lawsuits next to the origin story when identifying what the movie is about.

"only actually got resolved in black text"

That was the nuts and bolts resolution, but dramatically speaking, the resolution came when the femal lawyer told Mark he had to settle because every jury on earth would think he's an a-hole.

"The whole point of them, which is stated at the end of the film is they have the weight of a parking fine and he can just pay them and carry on."

I'm not sure what you're point is. Their financial has nothing to do with whether or not this movie is about Facebook's origin and the lawsuits that arose from it, and further whether or not it's legitimate to tell that story so long as Facebook's story isn't over.
comment #10687 tublecane 10th Oct 11
"So it was a good story but a story without an end...What was the last act resolution?"

Huh? Do I really have to explain this? The climax comes when Mark's friend freaks out at him after finding out about his watered down shares, which is what led to his lawsuit in the first place. The dénouement comes in the scene when the lady lawyer sums up his crappy personality, and shortly after when he looks up his old girlfriend on Facebook. That is as much an ending as any other movie gets.

"I assumed when I was watching it that it was the napster thing but even that got a he still owns x share in the company which wasn't a resolution."

What? Why would he have to lose shares for it to have been a resolution?

"I just genuinely can't see any form of conflict resolution/last act."

Conflict: Eduardo v. Mark, and Sean Parker v. himself and the dark spirits plotting his downfall.

Resolution: for the flashbacks, obviously (since we know it from the outset), four of the other major characters sue Mark; Parker is out of the loop; Mark must settle because he looks like an a-hole, and may actually be trying to be one even if he isn't.

Left hanging in the air (which it is every movie's right to do): whether Mark is all that bad a guy, and whether his old girlfriend looks up to him and might forgive him should he reach out to her.

comment #10688 tublecane 10th Oct 11
Well we have come to the difference of opinions. I feel the lawsuits were a vehicle for the movie and that the lawyer lady telling him he's going to have settle whatever just because of his personality wasn't a resolution but just a way for the film to end. I feel the film was about the founding and rise of Facebook and that the ending, pictures of clicking through facebook pages was left hanging because really the story of Facebook has only just been introduced.

You place more weight on the lawsuits and feel that the black text and couple of lines about resolution were just that a decent resolution.

I naturally disagree because I'm not in the habit of proposing opinions I don't hold (well I am but in this case I wasn't) and even in this summary I've probably given more weight to my side. That's because I feel my side is right.

But whilst I disagree with you I can see that you see your side is right too and I don't have anything of the quality to stop you from being right to say, I hope we stated the case well for a stranger to judge between, I don't find myself persuaded by your arguments but you are even less persuaded by mine, so if it's okay with you, agree to disagree?
comment #10753 Tomwithnonumbers 13th Oct 11
"the film was about the founding and rise of Facebook and that the ending, pictures of clicking through facebook pages was left hanging because really the story of Facebook has only just been introduced."

We don't need to argue about anything else: this is the whole issue, right here. Can you see the contradiction in your thinking? You say the movie was about "the founding and rise of Facebook," and then go on to criticize it for not telling the whole story of Facebook. But that's not what it's about! It's about the span of time between its founding and when it hit a million users, and the lawsuits which arose from it.

A movie about the Facebook since, or it's potential future fall, might be interesting. But this movie is not flawed because it didn't tell it.
comment #11189 tublecane 2nd Nov 11
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