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Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Social Devil and the 26-year old Billionaire: A Movie Review of Sorts

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65 million is a lot of money to validate sour grapes. However, if the movie "The Social Network" is to be believed, then I have a bright future ahead of me.  All I have to do is make a list of all the people with whom I have shared my ideas. And I have shared many good ideas with friends and colleagues.  Then hope that some of them use any of my myriad ideas and start multi-million dollar companies so I can sue the living daylights out of them.  I have just bought a little black book small enough to put in my pocket and I plan to take it with me everywhere I go.  So every time I share my ideas, I will write the names of the people who heard my ideas, the place where I shared them and all other minute details so that once my future litigations take place, I will be armed.  Coming up with your idea and doing the actual head spinning and backbreaking work to turn your ideas into reality is way too much.  Who needs creativity, ingenuity and hard work to make billions when you can spit all your nonsensical  ideas like countless bird seeds to your friends and acquaintances. Then, you hope that one of them will pick up one seed and turn it into a sunflower field and then, Bam! Hire the best lawyers and claim a share of the sunflower field.  Seems like a full proof plan to me.  

Now, I almost forgot about the film, "The Social Network."  The bottom line is Mark Zuckerberg is still one of the richest men on earth, and he is only 26 years old.  I think that pisses more people off than the fact that he was "supposedly" an ass hole, and he "supposedly" stole an idea.  The film was technically wonderful. The direction was very good. It is David Fincher after all. He can turn a bad script into a good movie.  The screenplay was above middling, and it is a prime example of superb writing for the sake of compelling storytelling. So, is the film text accurate? Quoting screenwriter Aaron Sorkin in his New York magazine interview, "I don’t want my fidelity to be to the truth; I want it to be to storytelling. What is the big deal about accuracy purely for accuracy’s sake, and can we not have the true be the enemy of the good?" And there you go.  

Jesse Eisenberg's performance was very good but his performance was diffused because the film did not really delve deeply into Zuckerberg's complexities. Such a shame because Eisenberg has much to offer as an actor.  The film still has two big surprises.  One is Justin Timberlake who deliciously played Napster founder Sean Parker.  The film's Sean Parker and not the real Sean Parker, please take note of that. Timberlake played Parker like a modern-day Silicon Valley Lucifer who was bringing sexy back to the tech world.  The devil never looked so young and so likable.  He seduced the film-version of Mark Zuckerberg like Faust's devil.  Give credit to director David Fincher and cinematographer Jeff Cronenweth for giving him the best lighting.  The other surprise is Armie Hammer who played the twin Cameron and Tyler Winkelvoss.  Of course, technology helped Hammer's dual performance but still, you have to give credit to the man.  I only knew the twins were played by just one actor hours after I watched the film and did some research.

Sadly, women will definitely be disappointed with the portrayal of women in this film. Girls, go watch "Julie and Julia" instead on DVD. Women and success never looked so yummy in that film. Plus, Julie Powell and Julia Child are actually married to good men who supported their business ventures.

Lastly, this movie brings us back to that old cliche. All a smart nerdy boy wants is to impress one girl but if he fails, the smart nerdy boy becomes either a very rich man or a very successful man. The definition of rich and successful is up to you and believe me, the nerdiest people that I knew when I was young are now very successful. 

My recommendation, go watch "The Social Network" for the sake of not being left out in coffee shop chats with your other 20-something friends. But do not watch it if you are working on that great idea that could change your life or maybe the world.  Shame on you for wasting your time watching a supposedly semi-fictional film that may soon be forgotten in a year or so.  Go work instead. You are only 26 once in your life. Come to think of it, what was I doing when I was 26? I was in a club partying,  getting drunk, kissing who ever showed interest, and spending all my hard earned cash.  I guess people like my 26-year old self have never changed the world.  But at least I can blog. Now if I can only turn blogging into a million dollar-venture? Hmm, ideas ideas ideas.

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