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On PolarFlix: ‘The Social Network’

April 20, 2018

Welcome to the third week of On PolarFlix, a column meant to do exactly what it sounds like: review films on Bowdoin Student Government (BSG)’s movie streaming service, PolarFlix. This week, in keeping with the news, we are looking back at David Fincher’s “The Social Network” (2010).

Plot Summary (spoiler: Mark Zuckerberg creates Facebook):

The Zuckerberg that Aaron Sorkin writes and Jesse Eisenberg plays is fidgety, difficult and largely motivated to create his multibillion-dollar company because of rejection—by both a girl and a Harvard Final Club. The film zooms in on his life, cutting between a courtroom deposition and the larger story of the creation of Facebook. Throughout, the major conflict of the movie is Zuckerberg jettisoning his best friend and co-creator Eduardo Saverin (Andrew Garfield). While Zuckerberg and Saverin’s relationship is mostly a slow boil, “The Social Network” is injected with drama through the appearance of Napster founder and general coke-head Sean Parker (Justin Timberlake) and Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss (Armie Hammer, doubled), also known as the Winklevii.

Best Mood for Watching:

The best mood for watching this movie has got to be ANGRY. Facebook may have just contributed to the stealing of a presidential election (Cambridge Analytica—ever heard of it?) and now knows everything about us. I’m not sure if this is a commonly held sentiment on this campus, but in my humble opinion, the robots are taking over and there’s nothing we can do about it. This movie is very much a human drama, but also makes it easy to see how Zuckerberg, if he acts in real life the way Eisenberg plays him, has coded into Facebook an understanding of the world that prioritizes surface-level connection and doesn’t consider the value of true personal relationships.

Greatest One-Liner:

“You… you did it! I knew you did it! You planted that story about the chicken!” Saverin says this to Zuckerberg directly after he finds out he has been squeezed out of the Facebook ownership structure. His contention is that all of this goes back to Zuckerberg’s jealousy that Saverin was accepted into the Phoenix Final Club (taking care of the chicken was a hazing task, in which Saverin ended up accidentally feeding the chicken chicken meat. Naturally, the student newspaper was interested in this scoop.). While “The Social Network” has many lessons to be learned, I’d say the most useful is when in doubt, remember that it always goes back to the chicken.

Intended Bowdoin Audience:

The movie is about an emotionally stunted college student. I’d say it applies to quite a few of us.

Watch/Don’t Watch:

If you haven’t seen this movie before (which realistically is very few of you), watch it now before the new BSG leadership structure rudely rips it away from us.

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