Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Observations on 'The Social Network' the dilemma of writing the screenplay

In the interest of keeping to the theme of the 'written word translated to screen' I stumbled across an interesting article written on the tricky business of writing the screenplay for 'The Social Network' (I reviewed it earlier this week - check it here).

I decided to pick a the conclusive extracts but please do read the full article here, written by John Truby and let him know if you agree with his assessment. I kind of do because I believed the character of Zuckerberg was an 'ass' the whole way through and the dynamic of keeping an audience engaged on a story about someone so unlikeable (anti-hero) is fascinating. 

Ultimately the facts of this true story and the unpleasant main character mean that The Social Network has one big flaw: there’s no way to end the story. The hero’s moral decline is indisputable early in the second half of the film. And a series of deposition scenes is a far cry from a big courtroom trial where the fight is decided in one last blaze of glory.

Of course Sorkin knows this. He tries to finesse it with his great skill at dialogue. In an attempt to partly redeem Zuckerberg and put final closure to the moral argument of the story, Sorkin has a female lawyer tell Zuckerberg, “You're not an asshole, Mark. You're just trying so hard to be.” But it’s a false distinction and it fools no one. The Zuckerberg character portrayed in this film really is an asshole. And no matter how much the real Zuckerberg was forced to pay, I couldn’t help leaving the theater thinking it wasn’t nearly enough.

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