Friday, 29 October 2010

THE SOCIAL NETWORK

*Insert Rocky's Victory Music*
       So I finally finally finally watched The Social Network yesterday. I've waited for a year for it to come out and on 28th October, 2010- a full month later than its release in US, I finally saw it...and was it any good? YEAH BABY!! It was everything I imagined it to be and so much more(if there ever was a more clichéd line, I would've written that too).


       I'm not going to really write the plot- Wikipedia and the million other reviews that I've personally read on the film will fill you in on that. I want to write about why I liked this film so much. It's because it is current. If you know me at all, you would know how much I love the 60s and well almost every other time period in history except now (and the 80s as they sucked). This is because, as is the case with almost everything and me, no films have really captured the essence of this decade, or rather the people of this decade. Up in the Air came pretty close in grasping the idea of surviving in the 21st century, but again it was for an older audience. True Anna Kendrick was adorable and George Clooney is an evergreen hunk, but the youth of today have never truly been portrayed in a film. And this is exactly what The Social Network achieves. It is not the Facebook part, as I've been trying to explain to countless number of people, it's the story behind it.


       What The Social Network shows us is how people fit in in today's world. Mark Zuckerberg made Facebook over an angry break-up with a girl. He made it to become cool. He made it so that, as it is being drilled into our genertaion's head everyday, he can be unique. It is the paradox of today's youth that we all want to do something individually so we can all fit in together. From this we see that Zuckerberg's only friend Eduardo Saverin becomes his most fatal enemy. The film mirrors our world, one which is obsessed with the internet, statuses, social standing, shares, achieveing numerical extremes etc. And on the contrary to what you might think, I really liked all of it. I like the What You See Is What You Get idea...and this is very splendidly captured in the film, making it more real and understandable to me than any other work of fiction made about my generation. Also it was refreshing to see how it is the simple matters that bring about big changes. Zuckerberg made Facebook because he had been refused by a girl and was drunk and needed social acceptance. Sort of like how in A Beautiful Mind John Nash refuted some Adam Smith concept based on techniques on picking up girls. But then again this is Facebook, and that was some economic principle.


      The characters in the film are all real people (except Erica Albright) but as it is based upon the book "Accidental Billionaires" which was mostly written in Eduardo Saverin's POV, they might not be exactly like this in their real lives...but I sure do hope so.
      So first, Mark Zuckerberg- give me a flawed hero and I'll give you a devoted Nikhat. I don't know how many people will agree with me here, but I understood Mark. On two levels. First, I like his whole straightforward way of thinking and talking, even though it gets him into trouble with people. He is a science person, a math person and somewhere in his mind it is right to call a spade a spade and I get it. He talks not to impress people, but to truly state everything going on in his head, even when he is being mean. Second, I understand his whole need to fit in by doing somethig extraordinary. I mean that's what I try to do through this blog, something unique that people would like, though on a microscopic level when compered to Zuckerberg (I actually have a mild phobia of computers for that matter). Also he is a geek and for decades now the whole geek becoming a cool dude has been a popular subject in films. It is very obvious with Zuckerberg too as he was fixated on the super-exclusive Harvard clubs and keeping Facebook cool. He is Facebook in the film, starting at a point and not really being sure of what he'll turn into. Despite all his misgivings, he is very likeable and one feels for his "social" awkwardness.
      The next character is that of Eduardo Saverin, the protagonist of "Accidental Billionaires". He is the ex-bestfriend of Zuckerberg and like him, being cool is very important for him. Though unllike Zuckerberg, he gets into one of these coveted Harvard clubs, but he values his friendship more. He is the sweetest character in the film, who is also a very wonderful friend. He does a lot for Zuckerberg's sake, but gets screwed in the end...well sort of- he did get 5% of Facebook's shares amounting to 1.1 billion dollars. I loved Eduardo because he was such a nice guy and also damn cool as an angry young man.
      Sean Parker is the next character. He is that guy who was the very first to rebel and becomes an instant idol to everyone. He has all the charisma and all the stories and all the girls, but in the end he is not all that what he seems. I liked him at first, but he is a completely horrible person towards the end.
      The final two main characters are the Winklevoss twins. They were funny. I liked the whole subplot about them as the priviledged, good-looking, perfectly brought-up "gentlemen of Harvard" and how they have to tackle the problem of being intellectually robbed of an idea.


       David Fincher is GOD! When I heard that he was making a film on Facebook all those months back, I was psyched and apprehensive at the same time. This is because this film is so unlike all his previous films. Though the testosterone level is high in this film too, as it is in most of his other films, it does not have the dark and gritty feel to it. As the film shows only a period in the lives of the characters, albeit the most important one, it was not very biographical. Fincher had a very youthful approach to it. Yes there was college rivalry and legal drama and corporate disputes involved, but it was all done in a very calm manner, so the film does not seem angry, but rather a chain of events following a group of people who are neither right nor wrong. The only other Fincher film it can be compared to is The Zodiac as it was also sort of a journalistic look on true events, but it is so much more modern and approachable. This might be the most congenial film that Fincher has ever made, and it was expertly done so. As Ebert said, "The Social Network is a great film not because of its dazzling style or visual cleverness, but because it is splendidly well-made."


      Aaron Sorkin's screenplay is impeccable. Fincher could not have done this without him. Though I had been "warned" by people that I might not understand it because it is computer-jargon filled, none of that happened. My 10 year-old brother understood all of it...well mostly. It has some fantastic tongue-in-cheek and high-level humour which might have passed over his head, but did not fail to impress me. Lord knows I'm 18 and I still laugh on "chicken" jokes. It also has many unforgettable lines, and the dialogue is what keeps the film going, in a way that no other Fincher movie has. The film is well-structured, though it follows a non-linear timeline. This is because the story obviously focuses more on the people, like Facebook itself.


      And now the actors. You must understand that though I consider myself a film buff, what I am first and foremost is... a girl. And this film was absolute candy for my one fine and other infected eye. Except Panic Room and Alien 3 (the only Fincher film I haven't seen) all of his films have faaaiiine men, and The Social Network most definitely takes the cake. Jesse Eisenberg is so adorable! He is a very good actor and I thought that no other "geeky" actors like Michael Cera and Shia LaBeouf etc. could have played Zuckerberg like he did. He was fun, condescending, brilliant and pityful all at the same time. Andrew Garfield is my future husband...he is so hot and cute at the same time, and those sexy suits are plain orgasmic. He is definitely an actor to watch. I loved him as the senstive and loyal Eduardo and unlike Zuckerberg/Eisenberg's rather stoic display of emotions, he was very expressive and it was just transplendent! Armie Hammer, who played both the Winklevoss twins was quite sexy. Just something about very tall guys in Ivy League rowing teams, you know. I've read people who want an award to be given for creating this effect of twins, but honestly Leaves of Grass came out this year and it has Edward Norton in a double role as twins- one as a professor and the other as a drug pusher. 'Nuff said. Finally, if Justin Timberlake can bring Sexy Back, he can definitely play Sean parker. I thought he was very convincing as the charismatic bad-ass, and his looks did help. Oh and Rooney Mara, who played the fictional Erica, is gorgeous and I cannot wait to see her in Fincher's next, the film adaptation of "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" along with Daniel Craig.


       My Oscar predictions for the film- it should be nominated for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Actor for Eisenberg and Best Supporting Actor for Andrew...and I really hope that it wins Director, Screenplay and Supporting Actor.


      So in the end of all this, I must say to one and all that please go watch The Social Network. It is the story of our generation and one of it's biggest milestones. Comment when you do.


Love,
Mrs. Andrew Garfield

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

"I want to be a Pop Idol" ~ Oscar Wilde, Velvet Goldmine


ALIEN TEARS WILL FILL FOR HIM
PITY'S LONG-BROKEN ERN,
FOR HIS MOURNERS WILL BE OUTCAST MEN,
AND OUTCASTS ALWAYS MOURN.

R.I.P. OSCAR WILDE


This man is a legend even after his death. Remember how I asked for an obituary...well I like epitaphs too. In my religion neither cremation nor a tombstone is allowed, but that's exactly what I want. I want my ashes to be spread all over the world, just like in Elizabethtown, and I want a kick-ass tombstone which says something beautiful and apt, just for me.

Saturday, 16 October 2010

"At some point in our lives, we all want to be a Superhero" ~ Kick-Ass



















































So as one can see, I clearly adore this film. Superhero noir is becoming one of the best up and coming genres of today. Kick-Ass is an ideal example for that. It's a semi-realistic look into the existence of super-heroes in this world.

Dave Lizewski is a normal invisible teenage boy who out of optimism and naivity, and obviously a lot of comics, decides that he would become a superhero and save people. However, at his first attempt he gets stabbed in the stomach and run over by a car. He gets metal plates inside him as a result, making him a psuedo-Wolverine. This only excites him more and in his day-saving, he stops a gang from hurting a man while other kids record it. This video becomes an Internet sensation and Kick-Ass a youth icon.

Meanwhile, an ex-police officer Damon Macready has been preparing his young daughter Mindy in combat skills to avenge the death of his wife from the underworld lord Frank D'Amico. They are the suoerhero duo Big Daddy and Hit Girl. They do a lot of damage, but Frank believes that it was the work of Kick-Ass. After killing a random kid dressed as Kick-Ass, his son Chris comes up with the idea that he would become a superhero in order to gain Kick-Ass' trust. So he becomes Red Mist. Both he and Kick-Ass meett and go to a place where an ambush is waiting for Kick-Ass but Big Daddy already destroys the place. It is then that the goons realise that Kick-Ass is an innocent kid and the main "hero" is Big Daddy.

While Dave is being Kick-Ass, he has also become closer to the prettiest girl in school Katie Deuxma, however it is because she thinks he is gay. After meeting Hit Girl and Big Daddy, he starts feeling like a fake and decides to give up being Kick-Ass. But first he goes and tells Katie because "Spiderman and not Peter Parker gets the girl." Katie is angry at first but then she forgives him and they secretly start going out. In all of this Dave had sort of forgotten his masked identity and when he check's Kick-Ass' MySpace page he sees that Red Mist wants to meet him. Red Mist tells Kick-Ass that they need help and should meet Big Daddy and Hit Girl. But like before this too is a trap and Kick-Ass and Big Daddy get caught.

There is a live public unmasking of them posted online and while everyone watches both get beaten to pulp by a bunch of goons. However as they are to be set on fire Hit Girl intervenes and kills all of the kidnappers. However a fire does get lit, as a result of which Big Daddy dies. It is then that Hit Girl decides to take revenge and with the help of Kick-Ass, attacks Frank D'Amico's house.

I'm not going to tell the ending though the pictures seem self-explanatory. I love the real world aspect of Kick-Ass, the fact that none of the super-heroes are actually endowed with super-human powers. There is a lot of cursing and blood and fighting and it really is not a kid-friendly film. It is very well made and some of the scenes are plain genius. The soundtrack too compliments this type of a film. Mika's "Kick-Ass" is brill!

My favourite character is that of Hit Girl because she is the best ass-kicking character ever. Her lines are as brilliant as her gun/kinfe/any other weapon skills. She is played by Chloe Moretz who generally plays an adorable little girl in  fiilms but in this one was a total bad-ass. My next favourite character is Red Mist who is played by Christopher "McLovin" Mintz-Plasse. He is funny and violent and geeky. I lve how much he tries to be a part of his father's "gang". Aaron Johnson as Dave/Kick-Ass is pretty good too. I never expected the hot Brit to play a role like this, but he was pretty convincing. I like his simplicity and goodness. Nicholas Cage as Big Daddy is pretty awesome too.

It is a very innovative-type of superhero movie, a trend that has started from Batman Begins. Highly entertaining and a must watch for anyone who doesn't mind violence and loves their Superheroes.