(This article was written by me on February 28th 2016)
THE SOCIAL NETWORK IS ONE OF THE MOST UNDERRATED MOVIES OF ALL TIME
Above is a statement I truly believe in and one that I rarely say about such main-stream and critically revered movies.
The Social Network received exceptional reviews when it first premiered (sitting at a 96% on Rotten Tomatoes) and was nominated for 8 Oscars, picking up 3 along the way. Despite this and approaching 6 years since the film’s release it seems to be being forgotten about. The consensus of the general movie-going public is often that The Social Network is just “O.K.”
This shouldn’t be how things are. It should be being called a masterpeice.
Its one of, if not the best of David Fincher’s work: incredibly written by the extraordinary Aaron Sorkin; perfectly acted by a young cast and wonderfully made. It’s not only a master-class of film-making that should be heralded as such but it’s also far, far more than the story of Mark Zuckerberg and the creation of the phenomenon that is Facebook.
The trailer for The Social Network is one of the best I have seen of the past 15 years and further cements the genius of the movie. Take a look:
Spine tingling right?
This trailer is exceptional on a number of different levels. Firstly, unlike another, more recent advertisement that Jesse Eisenberg features in: Batman V Superman; we don’t get the whole bloody movie spoilt for us in 2 minutes. Yes, we’re provided context and yes, we’re able to understand the overall tone of the film but we’re not able to piece together the entire picture as an audience shot for shot. For example, you’d only know after seeing the movie that the final scene shown in the trailer is actually only featured 20 minutes in. We’re left intrigued but we really haven’t been shown that much. This is how it should be.
When I first realised that the soundtrack to the trailer was a choral rendition of Radiohead’s “Creep“, I couldn’t help but laugh a little bit. The Social Network is about a geeky, angry, young adult and that song is just about as close to the epitome of teen angst that you can get.
It’s hilariously self-aware, but it’s also kind of genius.
Once you realise how the music choice is so clever, the trailer reaches a whole new level that others don’t even come close to touching. Not only does the song provide some goose-bump raising drama to what you see but after watching the movie, the lyrics can be shaped in to a whole new meaning.
At first they’re mirrored by the images on screen but as clips from the film take over and the song takes a back-seat, the words that the choir sing are still very, very important. They relay the themes of the movie and in doing so, elevate it.
The Social Network is, at heart, a story of the Millenials: lost, confused and crying out for attention. The film dives deeper than “how” Facebook was created and into “why” it was. The song choice only serves to give that even more depth.
So go watch The Social Network again (or if you haven’t already: do) and then afterwards re-watch the trailer. Listen carefully and whilst you do, think about the themes of the movie. Just try and tell me that “I wanna have control”, “I want you to notice” and “I wish I was special” don’t have a far greater purpose than you first thought. Tell me that it doesn’t relate to why you use social media yourself.
The film isn’t just about Facebook and the song isn’t just about angry teens and unachievable love.
They’re about a generation.
written by Caleb Carter