500 Word Review – The Social Network dir. David Fincher

The man known for thrillers such as Se7en and Gone Girl decided to focus on an entirely different type of story. Instead of stories about notorious killers like the Zodiac or fast paced yet thought provoking action thrillers such as The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, David Fincher decided to use his film making expertise to tell the story of the youngest billionaire in history, the creator of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg.  With the help of his trusty cinematographer Jeff Cronenweth, editors Angus Wall and Kirk Baxter and a powerful score from Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, known autuer David Fincher was able to put together the most compelling and gripping biographical film put to cinema.

To begin with, the way Fincher directs his actors has to be applauded because the acting is astounding. A protagonist which questionable morals who the audience finds difficult to either hate or love is something that Fincher is known to be able to perfect in his films now. From the narrator in Fight Club to Nick Dunne in Gone Girl, being able to pull off  an egotistical and disliked protagonist that we are able to care about is one of Fincher’s many talents and yet with every film and every protagonist, they get better by getting worse in nature and none of Fincher’s egotistical protagonists do we care about more than Jesse Eisenberg with his portrayal of Mark Zuckerberg. Jesse’s performance as the cocky creator of Facebook makes it so easy for us to dislike him with the way he talks down to people and cuts them off, especially when he is faced with Andrew Garfield’s Eduardo Saverin. However, that same cockiness leads us to root for him when faced with the Armie Hammer twins Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss.

The colour pallet of the film is very similar to other Fincher films with the entire shot being washed over with dark blues and greens. This choice to keep these dark and dreary colours not only reminds us that we are watching a David Fincher film, but it also adds to the expected mood of the particular scene. The dark and dreary greens of the courtroom when it begins to rain shows the terrible situation that Zuckerberg has got himself into. The dark blues when the Winklevoss twins lose their rowing match in London to the remixed version of “In the Hall of the Mountain King” perfectly reflects their failure to beat Zuckerberg in the race to make Facebook. When Zuckerberg meets Sean Parker (Justin Timberlake) and we see the film through his eyes, there is a bright yellow tint over the shots to show Zuckerberg’s jubilation whereas when we see the exact same friendship between Zuckerberg and Parker through eduardo’s eyes, the colours are dark once again. Everything that is done is done with a purpose, not just because it’s a David Fincher film.

Overall, of all of Fincher’s perfect films, this easily ranks as one of the best of his filmography and one of the best of the past decade.

 

Character Writing

INT. KITCHEN. AFTERNOON
The setting sun fills the kitchen with an orange tint.
A girl with black hair aged around 19 (Maria) walks into the kitchen.
She puts her bag on the kitchen table and walks over to the sink.
She looks down into the sink. It is blocked to the point of overflowing.
MARIA
(sighs)
This is it Maria, you’ve taken this shit for too long now.
(beat)
You’re finally going to make a stand. You’re going to stand up for yourself because this has gone too far now. I mean, how difficult is it to unblock a sink? It’s not rocket science. That bitch Sasha has got away with this too long now… It is getting out of hand.
Maria takes another breath while looming over the disgusting sink.
MARIA
It is now or never Maria… She will never learn otherwise…
Maria looks over to her right where a tonne of used plates and pans have been left out, still covered in different sauces and bits of food.
MARIA
Got to talk to Henry about actually doing his bloody washing up as well, it’s absolutely disgusting.
(sighs)
Can’t wait until I move out from this Hellhole.
Maria turns around to pick up her bag from the table and go to her room.
She turns to see Sasha and Henry sat on the sofa on the other side of the kitchen who have heard everything Maria had just said to herself.
They stare at Maria.
Maria stares back at them.

Glossary

Mise-En-Scene: translating to “seen on stage”, mise-en-scene for a film can be in reference to anything that can be seen on screen, whether it is the set or the performance being put on by the actor, if it is seen on screen, it counts as mise-en-scene.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TMbWa8sqQOg

Shot reverse shot: Usually used during a discussion between two characters, the camera cuts back between the two characters when they speak.

Pan/Track/Zoom: Panning is when the movement of the camera mimics that of a head moving from left to right. A tracking shot is a shot that follows the subject, usually from behind. Zooming is closing in on the subject, this can be done with the camera or in post.

Psychoanalysis: A way to treat mental health issues by bringing thoughts from the unconscious mind to the conscious mind. In film is can be seen as the idea that the camera knows no bounds so it is able to bring the viewer anywhere so they can see anything.

Suture: Using techniques such as the shot reverse shot to make the audience to forget that we are watching something that a camera shot.

The gaze: The idea that an average cinema goer is a middle aged white man, so a film to be made for someone who fits that description which may mean explosions and sex.

Audience: The person who watches the film.

Representation: How a group of people are shown (or not shown) in a piece of media.

Montage: A style of editing which means that if you rearrange the shots, they can still make sense.