The Social Network has been a surprising endeavour for most; what was thought by some to be a doomed attempt at the enormity that is a facebook themed movie—one made for money’s sake, creativity be damned—has turned into a mark of movie ingenuity, excellence and at points sheer brilliance. David Fincher’s take on the Facebook saga and the peculiarness that is Mark Zuckerberg and his life is one that was deeply seeded in mood, misinformation, greed and computer science. It is more an endeavour of intrigue and wonder then that of movie-making exploitation.
The story is completely encapsulating, but the way it is told, filmed, acted and executed is breath-taking, lively and heartbreaking. Jesse Eisenberg is at his best. This monumental and mainstream film will surely cement his complete actor status where films like Squid and the Whale failed due to the obscurity of independent and alternative media. The non linear story is twisted and interesting, juxtaposing the naivety of a college kid with the infamy of a notoriously blunt multi billionaire. And the score is phenomenal. Not since The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford has there been a score so complex and perceptively accurate in terms of character and mood.
The soundtrack is the output of slightly left-field participants Atticus Ross and Trent Reznor. Reznor and Ross (musician and producer for Nine Inch Nails respectively) were approached by Fincher to score his movie, but initially declined due to claims of over scheduling and admittedly not wanting to be involved in something like a ‘Facebook movie’. After reading the Social Network script, apparently Reznor apologised and was immediately on board.
The resulting score is one that builds tension, vigour, coldness, desperation and anticipation through layering of harmonious noises and melodic tones. Each song completely compliments its respective scene while coaxing the audience into a more realistic state. The score creates a mood, which in turns effectively resonates an emotion and idea to the viewers causing each participant to delve deeper into the presence of the movie. Even seemingly banal material is heightened. Moments of Jesse Eisenberg rushing back to his dorm become more involved with the adding ‘Hand Covers Bruise’—images of cruel and desperate acts conjure in one’s brain because of the saddened tones that turn heavy and suspicious. And again, the scene of a rowing race, though active and competitive, is shown in slow motion and not integral in the plot, becomes so tense and strengthened by ‘In the Hall of the Mountain Op.23’. The song, a potential ode to Stanley Kubrick, matches the aristocratic theme of the Henley Royal Regatta but is tortured and distorted by Reznor and Ross to create a warped viewing of the event obscuring the view of the college athletes from preppy, wholesome men, to dismembered, slobbering boys.
The allure of the score is more than just presence in the movie too. It can be viewed as a standalone piece of creativity and hard work, easily appreciated separate from its origins, but best enjoyed within them. Surprise will not be emoted when The Social Network is nominated for numerous awards for all—acting, direction, screenplay, cinematography—but most unsurprisingly indeed, soundtrack and song.
- Kaitlin McNabb
1. Hand Covers Bruise
2. In Motion
3. A Familiar Taste
4. It Catches Up With You
5. Intriguing Possibilities
6. Painted Sun in Abstract
7. 3:14 Every Night
8. Pieces Form the Whole
9. Carbon Prevails
10. Eventually We Find Our Way
12. In the Hall of the Mountain Kind
13. On We March
15. Almost Home
16. Hand Covers Bruise, Reprise
17. Complication With Optimistic Outcome
18. The Gentle Hum of Anxiety
19. Soft Trees Break the Fall
By Kaitlin McNabb
Kaitlin is the contributor to The Playlist on Sound On Sight. She also contributes articles to local Vancouver websites and magazines about music, disappointments, and vanishing casinos. Her favourite films are "Army of Darkness" and "Squid and the Whale", and when not completely consumed by life, she spends most of her time googling shark photos.