The Social Network

The movie of the moment, David Fincher’s The Social Network certainly leaves food for thought after it’s two hours elapse. As a piece of cinema, it’s far better than might have been expected. One would be forgiven for thinking there’s little to be said about a social networking website (albeit one of the biggest successes stories of all-time), but Fincher manages to weave a gripping edge-of-your seat drama out of the site’s beginnings and subsequent lawsuits.

Much of this is down to a clever screenplay by Aaron Sorkin (The West Wing) and a superbly creepy performance from Jesse Eisenberg. British actor Andrew Garfield, who first came to attention with an excellent performance in Channel 4’s Boy A (a must-see), and is set to be the new Spiderman, is also superb as the site’s ousted co-founder.

It’s afterwards however, that the movie really impacts. It’s hard to believe that Facebook is only a little over seven years old. It seems odd to think back to its launch in 2003 and think how much technology has advanced in the intervening years. Most of us only had mobile phones for four or five years and the iPod was relatively new. The advancement in websites, smartphones, GPS, apps, videos, downloading speeds and people’s grasp of computer technology is stunning.

It’s both exciting and daunting to see where it will advance to next and it’s shocking to see how slow sections of the media in Ireland (Irish Times, Hot Press, Irish Independent — off the top of my head) have been to bring their online presence up to speed. As one line in the movie goes, if you don’t move quick, you really will get left behind.

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