The Social Network

Directed by David Fincher ¬†written by¬†Aaron Sorkin, The Social Network is a telling of the story of how Facebook came to be and the lawsuits that were a result of it. The movie is based on Ben Mezrich’s 2009 book The Accidental Billionaires and starts Jesse Eisenberg, Armie Hammer, Andrew Garfield & Justin Timberlake (yuck) and also has a supporting role by Max Minghella & Rashida Jones. There are several chances to real incidents for dramatic effect and even characters aren’t portrayed true to real life.

That being said this is a movie based for entertainment and not to be served as a documentary. Mark Zuckerberg reacts to being dumped in a bar by his girlfriend by writing an unflattering¬† blog post about her that is read by a lot of people. He also creates an on-campus website called¬†Facemash¬†which allows users to rate the attractiveness of female students using photographs pilfered from various university systems. ¬†Facemash’s popularity and the fact that Mark created it in one night while drunk brings him to the attention of¬†Cameron¬†and¬†Tyler Winklevoss¬†(both portrayed by¬†Armie Hammer) and their business partner¬†Divya Narendra¬†(Max Minghella). TheWinklevoss twins¬†invite Mark to their¬†final club, where Mark accepts a job as programmer for a proposed dating website they call¬†Harvard Connection which will be exclusive to Harvard alumni.

Mark goes to his friend Eduardo Saverin and tells him of his idea for what he calls “Thefacebook”, an online social networking website exclusive to Harvard University students, which will be consensual and avoid the ethical problems he had earlier with FaceMash. Eduardo agrees to help Mark, providing $1,000 to help start the site and helps spread the word. When the learn of it, Tyler and Divya want to sue Mark for¬†intellectual property theft, but Cameron convinces them to settle the matter as “Gentlemen of Harvard”. However Harvard President¬†Larry Summers is dismissive towards the twins and sees no potential value in either a disciplinary action or in Thefacebook website itself. During a lecture by Bill Gates, Eduardo & Mark meet Christy Leeand her friend Alice, who are fans of Facebook and they hook up. Later through Christy, Mark & Eduardo have a drinks & dinner meeting with Sean Parker (co-creator of Napster) and who shares Mark’s vision of Facebook. In a parting comment, Sean suggests they drop the “The” from Thefacebook, saying it looks cleaner without the ‘The’. At Sean’s suggestion, Mark moves the company to¬†Palo Alto¬†while Eduardo remains in New York seeking advertising support. Sean advises Mark to keep hold of his ownership of Facebook to ensure that Mark does not lose control of a potentially lucrative business venture. After Sean promises to expand Facebook to two continents, Mark invites Sean to live at the house he is using as the company headquarters.

When the Winklevoss twins see that Facebook¬† has spread to many other universities d footage of their lost rowing race final against the¬†Hollandia Roeiclub¬†is posted on it, Cameron relents and they decide to sue. Meanwhile Eduardo and Mark have some issues with the running of the company and the former also breaks up with Christy. While visiting the new headquarters for a meeting, Eduardo discovers the deal he signed with Sean’s investors has allowed them to¬†dilute his share of the company¬†from 34 percent to 0.03 percent, while maintaining the ownership percentage of all other parties. He confronts Mark and announces his intention to sue him. During a party celebrating Facebook’s one millionth member, Sean and a number of underage Facebook interns are arrested for possession of cocaine. Sean tries deceiving Mark into believing that he had nothing to do with the incident and that Eduardo stashed the cocaine, but Mark does not believe him and tells him to “go home”.

Throughout the movie, we see the two suits filed against Mark & Facebook also being played out – one filed by the Winklevoss twins, the other by Eduardo. The Winklevoss twins claim that Zuckerberg stole their idea, while Saverin claims his shares of Facebook were unfairly diluted when the company was incorporated. Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss received a settlement of $65 million, signed a non-disclosure agreement, and rowed in the¬†2008 Beijing Olympics, placing sixth; Eduardo Saverin received a settlement of an unknown amount and his name was restored to the Facebook masthead as a Co-founder of Facebook; the website has over 500 million members in 207 countries and is valued at 25 billion dollars; and Mark Zuckerberg is the world’s youngest billionaire. 8 outta 10, it’s a good movie!

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