The film begins with 19-year-old Mark Zuckerberg dating a woman, Erica, in a restaurant. They engage in a conversation, but it goes bad when Mark convinces her that she doesn’t need to study for her final exams. This prompts her to break up with him.
Later, in his dorm, Mark codes for a website called Facemash, where there are pictures of different students at Harvard. He cares more about the girls that he finds attractive.
However, his coding causes the campus to lose electricity. Mark is caught with this and gets into trouble with the school authorities.
He then attends a hearing about his website that has caused harm across the college and faces several charges. The judge questions him about the process of Facemash. The site has received 22,000 page requests.
Different flashbacks show Mark and his time attending Harvard as well as him working on his website.
In January 2004, he registered the site as “Thefacebook,” geared exclusively toward Harvard students. But this ruins his relationships with his classmates, including his friend, Eduardo.
These include twins, Cameron and Tyler Winlevoss, who claim that Mark stole their idea by misleading them during the disaster of the Harvard network. The complaint goes to Larry Summer, the Harvard president. He sees no reason to dismiss Mark or his website.
At a campus party, Mark and Eduardo meet a woman, Christy Lee, who asks her to “Facebook” them. It intrigues them and Thefacebook’s popularity increases. Mark decides to increase access to other Ivy league schools, such as Yale.
Christy introduces Eduardo and Mark to a website called “Napster” and its cofounder, Sean Parker. He shows a “Billion-dollar” vision for the company. He also suggests to Mark that his site be renamed as “Facebook.”
At some point, Mark travels to a Paolo Alto while Eduardo goes to New York to work on the business’s development. But their friendship turns bad when Eduardo moves into Mark’s house, because he is mad about Mark becoming too involved with the company.
This movie kept my interest, especially due to the high levels of conflict throughout the film. So many people turn on Mark and get angry at him due to his site causing issues to the other students, such as the blackout.
I think that stakes are so strong that they are essential in any form of storytelling whether it is written or visual.
During Mark’s hearing, the flashbacks made me curious about his process of developing his website. They range from Fall 2003 to spring 2004.
Despite the strength of the movie, some parts displeased me.
One example is when a guy vomits and it is shown. Not only did that gross me out, but I felt that it was too much for a PG-13 rated movie.
Another flaw is that Mark was allowed to drink alcohol, even on campus, despite being under 21. And no one asked him for his ID when dining in restaurants.
Twists and turns also happen. Examples include:
- Erica being a minor character
- The Harvard crew team rowing a boat in England
One problem was that the crew team did not wear life jackets. But that did not detract from the story.
Overall, I enjoyed The Social Network. I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars.