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***** A must watch
**** Worth seeing
*** If you must watch a movie and there is nothing else out there
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(K: stars) Rating by my children. As they are easy to please, would typically be higher than mine...

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The Social Network (2010) ****

The Social NetworkWould ‘The Social Network’ (film) be as interesting and attention-grabbing if it was not associated with Facebook? If indeed it’s all fiction, why associate it with the currently most popular web site? (aside, of course, from a legitimate concern for a liability lawsuit). Surely a capable team of filmmakers such as David Fincher, the director, and Aaron Sorkin, the writer, do not need to ride on someone else’s success. Trying to judge the story without linking it to the social-internet phenomena called Facebook is close to impossible. Yet the film does not investigate much of the phenomena but rather focuses on the driving force behind its founder, a missed point IMHO. The legal lawsuits used to drive the plot work well, and the story keeps the audience intrigued and engaged. Yet I find weakness in the simplified message of this fictionalized version -- that the motivation of Facebook’s founder, Mark Zuckerberg, played well by Jesse Eisenberg, is the basic need to be accepted and appreciated. Though this need is a strong human trait, it is being oversimplified and heavily dramatized. If the film is a character study, it fails in achieving an in-depth examination of a person and what makes him tick. And if the film is an exploration of the Facebook phenomena, which it is not, it does not even scratch the surface. I happen to be reading Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point, which examines how things – products, people and phenomenas, become wide-spread. Facebook, no doubt, falls into this category. Yet the causes for the Facebook 'epidemic' are made into a marginal note. In short – the film is worth seeing: its solidly directed, engaging, well acted, and timely. Whether it will stand the test of time and will be as engaging 30 years from now, is yet to be seen. I, for one, doubt it.

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