This is about the beginnings of the social networking phenomenon. We meet Mark Zuckerberg (played by Jesse Eisenberg) as a brilliant, but eccentric computer nerd at Harvard University in 2003. In the opening scene (stick with it, it’s chaotic but just try to follow the dialogue) Mark is summarily dumped by his girlfriend. To take revenge on her he creates an internet listing that rates the girls in the Harvard colleges. This is called Facemash and whilst the backlash gets him in a heap of trouble, it also sparks interest by the Winkelvoss twins, Cameron and Tyler (both played by Armie Hammer) who want to create a network of Harvard undergraduates. Zuckerberg agrees but develops his own Harvard network called The Facebook instead. To develop this further Mark teams up with his best friend Eduardo Saverin (by Andrew Garfield) to as an investor for the scheme. The story progresses through the court case mounted by the Winkelvoss twins to sue Zuckerberg, his own huge success with Facebook and the outcomes of each of his original business/personal relationships where friendship, loyalty, envy and competitiveness are played out. A great component of this is provided by Sean Parker (by Justin Timberlake) who is the creator of Napster and was an early supporter of Zuckerberg and Facebook.
Jesse Eisenberg is great in this role – perhaps not always someone you like, but really interesting character. The others are good too, Armie Hammer does the Winkelvoss twins beautifully, Andrew Garfield is great and Justin Timberlake does very well. The film is really interesting too – it’s based on the book ‘The Accidental Billionaires’ by Ben Mezrich.