Hollywood has long been fascinated by larger-than-life business personae, as Matthew Pejkovic has documented in this series portrayals of business in cinema. Here he is, once again, to “Show us the movies!!!” — with a look at more business films relevant to the present day.
The Social Network (2010)
There is a reason why Pete Travers of Rolling Stone magazine called The Social Network “the Citizen Kane of a new generation,” with its story of an obsessed entrepreneur who losses his friends while gaining the world, thanks to his latest venture.
That entrepreneur was Mark Zuckerberg and his venture was a little thing called Facebook: godsend to the socially hip, scorn to parents, and a revolutionary change to how we communicate.
Directed by David Fincher (Fight Club) and written by Aaron Sorkin (The West Wing), The Social Network portrayed Zuckerberg as a socially inept genius who becomes even more withdrawn when his creation turns into a billion-dollar empire.
Yet with more money comes more problems, and it doesn’t take long for the lawsuits to comes-a-calling, the first from best friend and Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin (Andrew Garfield) and the second from one-time Zuckerberg business associates the Wiklevoss twins (both played by Armie Hammer).
Of course, it’s of no surprise that the film’s take on events is disputed. According to David Kirkpatrick, author of The Facebook Effect: The Inside Story of the Company: “The film is only 40% true…a lot of the factual incidents are accurate, but many are distorted and the overall impression is false.”
But what can’t be denied is the film’s assertion that the business world is now the domain of Gen-Y entrepreneurs, who have the smarts and creativity to bring their billion-dollar ideas to life.
Spurred on by the success of geek lords Steve Jobs and Bill Gates (who makes an appearance as himself) and the vast potential of the Internet, young men such as Zuckerberg and Sean Parker (co-founder of Napster, played here by Justin Timberlake) have created successful businesses all through the typing of code on a computer screen.
Trailer for The Social Network
Matthew Pejkovic is a freelance film journalist located in Sydney. He writes for various print and online publications including FilmInk and The Retiree. He also runs his own website, Matt’s Movie Reviews.net and you can follow him on Twitter via @mpejko.