If Facebook were a country, it’d be the third largest in the world. Mark Zuckerberg would be its lonely king or president. Deducing from the movie, though, he’s more Charles Foster Kane of Citizen Kane fame.
David Fincher narrates how Facebook was born. It traces the hiring of Zuckerberg, and the emotional trials he faces on his way to becoming the youngest billionaire in the world. A classmate of Zuckerberg says to him, "When he said you could be the next Bill Gates, I really felt he was looking at you." And somewhere, he did seem similarly gluttonous and dominating. But he could not match Gates' innocent devious charm or philanthropic image. Rather, Zuckerberg seemed like a teenager who understood his creation, but not himself.
The story unfolds expectedly, talking about everyone involved. Fincher allots each character a generous amount of space to evolve. He plays with time beautifully, drawing parallels between a meeting attended by Zuckerberg in the past, facing allegations, and the one leading to the inception of Facebook. The comparison reminds you of a similar ploy used in Danish film Submarino.
Jesse Eisenberg’s portrayal of Zuckerberg is spot on. To imagine the creator of Facebook on this basis is not too difficult. You’re left to wonder about the irony of a socially impotent teenager changing the way the world interacts.
By the end of the film, you don’t actually want to judge Zuckerberg or his creation; you may become afraid of the magnanimity of his character as well as his creation. But the movie being so entertaining, and Facebook being so addictive, you may well end up discussing the movie on the website. Entertaining, gripping and most importantly, a film dealing with a hot topic. One of the most talked about films at MAMI, it’s no wonder then, that a packed audience ‘Liked It.’
The writer is part of the Mumbai Film Festival's (MAMI) Young Critics' Programme, an initiative of HT Cafe