Photo taken from GOOGLE IMAGESFACEBOOK is perhaps one of the biggest and most popular social networking websites in the world. Founded by Mark Zuckerberg, today’s youngest billionaire, it has reached almost 16 million users—and counting—in the Philippines alone.

But as the film, The Social Network, shows, Zuckerberg’s climb to the top is not exactly a case of good social relations.

Directed by David Fincher, the movie revolves around the socially inept and computer programming prodigy Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg), and his legal disputes with other Harvard University students who want to have a piece of the corporate cake.

During his college days, Zuckerberg’s programming skills gains recognition and he is invited by Harvard students and Olympians Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss to create a website that will connect students within the university.

He then tweaks the idea further with his friends, Eduardo Saverin (Andrew Garfield) and Sean Parker (Justin Timberlake). In just a matter of months, the website, which will be later known as “Facebook,” is conceived.

However, what was once a simple website conceived out of chains of computer codes escalates into an all-out legal furor with the Winklevoss filing a case for intellectual theft against Zuckerberg and Saverin, creating conflicts regarding his stock share.

Beyond its exterior as an account of the beginnings of the website, Social Network is also an exploration of man’s moral tendencies when faced with overwhelming success. Zuckerberg apparently has burned some people on his way to success. Indirectly, the movie indicates man’s greed, evident when both parties agree to drop their complaints for a fixed “settlement fee,” showing that for some people, money supersedes principles.

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Timberlake effectively portrays the crafty behavior of Parker—a performance that might elevate Timberlake’s status in the Hollywood scene.

On the other hand, Eisenhower’s acting flair successfully depicts Zuckerberg as an avatar of social awkwardness, which is ironic, considering his contribution to the world of social interaction.

Some viewers may view the movie only as a relentless filibuster between Zuckerberg and his legal adversaries and the early beginnings of Facebook. But the sharp and intelligent dialogues will keep the audience roused to the next chain of events. The progression of the plot can accelerate from slow to fast in an instant, which is very evident during the interchanging lawsuit and flashback scenes.

The Social Network, doesn’t only narrate the revolution and evolution of social networking, it is also a moral tale of a man in his rise to the top of the corporate ladder and the enemies that he makes along the way.

Zuckerberg and Saverin’s friendship was indeed put to the test as power and money worked like a double-edged sword for them. The film shows that mixing friendship and business can be disastrous. John Ernest F. Jose

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