‘The Social Network’ doesn’t take sides

one of the most prominent legal battles in recent history was between Facebook founder mark Zuckerberg and several of his college classmates who claimed to have been instrumental in the creation of the website.

it was ruled that Zuckerberg was not guilty of anything, but the movie “The Social Network” opts not to make it so clear. the film is based on the 2009 book by Ben Mezrich “The Accidental Billionaires” and it follows the book’s ambiguity about who is at fault.

Star Jesse Eisenberg, who plays Zuckerberg in the film, said the skillfully written script helped keep the bias out and make the characters realistic.

the cast was “Discouraged from doing impressions,” he said during a conference call with the Lantern. Writer Aaron “Sorkin’s script created fully realized characters.”

Andrew Garfield, who plays Zuckerberg’s former friend and partner, Eduardo Saverin, echoed the sentiment.

“Brilliant, brilliant script,” he said. “You don’t quite know who you believe.”

Sorkin was brought on by director David Fincher to adapt the novel for the screen. Sorkin might be best known for the film “A Few good Men,” which was based on one of his plays, and for writing the TV series “The West Wing.”

the cast was also impressed by Fincher, who was at the helm for “Se7en,” “Fight Club” and, most recently, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.” Armie Hammer, who plays twins Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss (two of Zuckerberg’s legal foes) in the film, said that Fincher handled the production in a personable way.

“He gives every single person on set the direction they need,” Hammer said. “You feel like you can trust him.”

Fincher needed to be all over the place to create the effect of ambiguity he was going for. Eisenberg said the director would spur the actors to take their characters’ sides.

he would say, “You know your character is right in this scene, right?” the actor said, explaining the director’s methods. “Then he’d walk to another character and say the same thing.”

Garfield was thrilled to work with Justin Timberlake, who cameos as Napster creator Sean Parker.

“He’s an incredible human being,” Garfield said.

between the acting and production talent involved in the film, one name that has gone largely unnoticed is Trent Reznor, the man behind rock act Nine Inch Nails. Fincher persuaded Reznor, after much persuasion, to score the soundtrack of the film.

Zuckerberg himself didn’t want anything to do with the movie, at one point saying, “I just wished that nobody made a movie of me while I was still alive.” Because of this, Eisenberg took measures like taking fencing lessons, a hobby of Zuckerberg, to understand his outlook on life.

Eisenberg said the scenes that took place in deposition rooms were his favorite to shoot because he found himself freer to defend Zuckerberg. he said that although the book focused on Saverin’s point of view, scenes like these allowed the filmmakers to break from the text.

“It’s a non-traditional adaptation,” Eisenberg said. “It’s using the same sources but telling different stories.”

Hammer said developing the nuances for the pair of twins he plays was a challenge.

“That took a lot of work. We wanted to make sure we didn’t end up with stereotypical evil and good twin,” he said. he pointed out he had it one step easier than Eisenberg, however. “They’re not recognizable people, like mark Zuckerberg.”

Garfield said that understanding the inspiration for Saverin’s character was not that difficult. the book the film is based on is taken mostly from his character’s perspective and pays special attention to the end of the friendship between Saverin and Zuckerberg.

“The first major betrayal in your life is scarring,” he said. “I can relate to it. We all can.”

one thing the trio of actors had similar takes on was Facebook itself. Eisenberg got a profile to prepare for the movie and called it a “useful tool.” Hammer agreed with that sentiment but said that the downside came about quickly.

“Like everything, there’s that flipside of the coin. Everyone becomes a voyeur,” he said. “Five-hundred million people posting, none of them reading.”

Garfield went so far as to cancel his account.

“Now I don’t (have an account),” he said, detailing his addiction. “It became unhealthy. it has that effect.”

Eisenberg didn’t think that the film was likely to have that profound of an effect on its viewers, however.

“I can’t imagine anyone would see the movie and cancel their page,” he said.

‘The Social Network’ doesn’t take sides

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