Entertainment / Movies / News / Opinion

The Social Network: An intriguing intelligent drama


by Nickie Wang


“Drop the ‘the,’ just Facebook,” says Justin Timberlake who plays Sean Parker, the creator of Napster, in the film The Social Network. Is not the most powerful line in the motion picture but it led the audience on how Facebook got its name, which is now a brand worth multibillion dollars.

There is so much buzz about the film even before it landed on local theaters because it gained critical acclaims in the United States where it premiered a month ago. Probably, most Americans were obsessed on how to become an accidental billionaire just like Mark Zuckerberg. But of course, the film does tell how the Facebook co-founder became super affluent every step of the way but do not expect a boring narrative because the story is treated with embellishments for a more cinematic appeal.

Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg) is dumped by his girlfriend even before the opening credits appear. Now, that’s a classic way to say that Facebook is actually inspired by Zuckerberg’s attempt to get even with his girlfriend. He creates FaceMash, a page where students can rate two female undergraduates based on the attractiveness as pictures of them are juxtaposed.

To do that, the fast-talking and uber intelligent sophomore at Harvard, Zuckerberg, breaks into the server of the university database to download photos and names. The page goes online for four hours, attracts 22,000 pageviews and crashes Harvard’s network. His punishment for doing so is six-month academic probation.

Thereafter, Zuckerberg becomes famous on all corners of the premier campus and attracts the attention of Winklevoss twins (both played by Armie Hammer). He is asked by the twins to create a website called Harvard Connection. Instead of pursuing the project, Zuckerberg makes his own site, thefacebook.com, and invited most of the students in the university. The site becomes an instant hit and reaches other universities in the US and then England. Soon after it reaches global prestige, Zuckerberg faces multimillion lawsuits filed by the Winklevoss twins and by his friend Saverin.

The story itself does not delve on the technicalities of the social networking site. It focuses more on drama that 600 million Facebook users did not know when they initially sign up for an account in a website established by Zuckerberg and his friends in their dormitory in Harvard University in 2004.

The director of film, David Fincher (Fight Club, Panic Room, and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, among others), brilliantly essayed the story of a young man who found his outlet for intellectual and logical outburst. He also created a new image of a geek through the character of Zackerberg—curly-haired, fast-talking, and most of the time impassive almost with poker face.

Some people question the facts in the movie but one thing for sure, The Social Network is a great treat for Facebook addicts and luddites alike. However, this is not for the below average Joe since the film is an expository of intelligence, pro-activeness, and being untraditional.

Facts about Facebook

Here are some facts that The Social Network does not tell you about Facebook.

If you have a friend in China and he leaves Facebook every now and then, it is not his intention to be anti-social in the virtual world. It is just that it has been blocked intermittently in People’s Republic of China and in several countries including Pakistan, Syria, Vietnam, Iran, Uzbekistan and North Korea. It reminds me when Friendster was blocked by the authorities in the Middle East in 2003 for several months. It wasn’t cool.

Facebook has more than 1700 employees and three of its founders are on Forbes lists of youngest billionaires. Zuckerberg is the youngest with an estimated asset of US 6.9 billion.

Apart from the 1,000-dollar seed investment, and 18,000 dollars later on (which was frozen by Zuckerberg’s best friend Eduardo Saverin), Facebook received its first investment of US 200,000 dollars from PayPal’s co-founder.

The terms facebooking (describing the process of using the website to browse your contacts’ profiles) and unfriend (to remove a person on your contact list) became buzzwords in 2009. The latter was even named by New Oxford American Dictionary’s word of the year in that same year.

Ivy Bean, a 104 year-old grandmother from Bradford, England, is one of the oldest Facebook users. She joined the social networking site in 2008 and died three months before the film The Social Network premiered. Hope she was able to read Facebook on Wikepedia to know about the history of it. She is also a sensation on Twitter before her demise.

Mark Zuckerberg, and even Facebook employees, were no way have any involvement with drama film but Zuckerberg’s [former] befriend was. Saverin served as the consultant to Ben Mezrich when he wrote The Accidental Billionaires where the story of The Social Network is based.

Buy movie tickets online

Ayala Mall Cinemas has recently launched the website of Sureseat, the first and only movie ticketing site in the country, to provide a better service. The website’s enhanced design has a movie-friendly interface feature that leads moviegoers to the most efficient online access to movies of their choice.

One of the major upgrades is the launch of the new M-Pass, which allows cardholders get past the long queues in ticket booths and conveniently go straight to the cinema by just presenting pre-booked seat codes. They can also buy snacks online using the card.

“In 2003 we tried to outdo ourselves with the introduction of M-pass, everything became convenient to our moviegoers. Now the enhanced website provides more benefits and services. It only puts the Ayala Malls in the forefront of innovation,” says an Ayala Malls official.

Sureseat application is also available via SMS for Globe and Smart subscribers. Fore information, visit http://www.sureseats.com.

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