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This is the blog of Ian Rosales Casocot. Filipino writer. Sometime academic. Former backpacker. Twink bait. Hamster lover.

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Monday, October 04, 2010

entry arrow4:30 AM | In Your Head

I honestly thought David Fincher's The Social Network [2010] was a little underwhelming, given the rave reviews and the hype that was heaped on it even before opening day. When the lights came on in the movie theater at the Metreon, I stood up and walked home to my room in The Drake in San Francisco. It was very late, and it was off to bed I went, my only concern sleep. But I knew it was a well-made movie -- the direction was that of a master at the top of his game, the editing was taut and spellbinding, the writing was scintillating, the score understated but effective, the cinematography sly and somehow expansive in intimate ways, the acting superb -- but I found myself somehow underwhelmed, and maybe because I expected it to bludgeon me with its greatness. (But then again, like most great art, it's really all about subtlety.) It does not have the gimmicky and overscored finish of the top spinning in Inception, just a soft petering off of an unfinished life, a subtle ending that brings in a reverse "asshole" bookend reference that began the movie, and a lonely Mark Zuckerberg repeatedly hitting refresh on someone's Facebook page, just to see if that someone will accept his friend request.

I expected the usual Hollywood fireworks. I forgot I was watching a David Fincher movie. Then again, maybe it was also because I watched it in a midnight screening, and my body was a little tired from all the walking I had been doing all over San Francisco. Which should not sound like such a big deal, but remember, the city is all about hills -- up, down, then up again, in boots I was trying to break in.

But God, this film has such staying power in your head. Because for many hours later, I kept thinking and thinking about it. I kept replaying certain scenes in my head. I kept going back, for example, to that lingering long shot of Mark walking across Harvard campus near the beginning of the film, after he got dumped and before spending an entire drunken night hacking and making code that would soon become his Internet revenge against all Harvard women. And I kept telling myself, it's all there, in that lonely walk across campus. And I kept remembering certain snappy lines of dialogue, all of Aaron Sorkin's zing like lightning in a bottle. And I kept hopping from one Internet article to the next, hoping for more insight into this film. And people like me are legions online.

It's a great movie. The best movie I've seen this year. It crawls under your skin.

[0] This is Where You Bite the Sandwich