(If you haven’t seen it yet, there are no spoilers here.)
After the last session of Leadership Institute at Church of the Resurrection, our church staff went to see The Social Network at the AMC theater in Leawood, KS. It’s the first time I’ve ever paid $12 to see a movie, but that’s life in Leawood, the Beverly Hills of Kansas.
Before I saw it, I was shocked when I first read last week that rottentomatoes.com gave it a 97%. After the seeing the movie, however, I agree that it’s very good. The actors are convicing (even Justin Timberlake is believable), the soundtrack is cool (by Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails), and the plotline moved along well enough to keep my attention throughout the entire movie.
1. What I liked most was the character development, specifically one aspect of it.
There is no hero.
In my experience, at least, this is true to life. We’re often tempted to look at events in black and white terms, all good or all bad, heros and villains, but in my experience, this either/or does not reflect reality.
I believe that all of us have mixed motives for what we do. I’m not sure that anyone acts out of completely pure motives. We may have a main reason for what we’re doing, but in my experience, there may also be various sub-motives.
A person may volunteer at a charity because of altruistic motives, but mixed in, is also a desire for purpose and maybe even recognition. A person may also relieve guilt by volunteering. This doesn’t make the person “bad” or selfish. It makes them (and us) complex… human.
2. Another aspect I liked was the way friendships were portrayed.
Obviously, the title references facebook, but it’s also about the social network of facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. It’s a network of friendship and conflict. Of course, it’s hard to know what in the movie is fact vs. artistic license.
In all of our networks, aren’t our relationships a mixture of friendship and conflict? When we’re with the people we love, sometimes we just want to savor the moment and remember it forever. If we could take a snapshot and keep things just like this, it would be heaven.
Then there are times when, let’s just say, we don’t feel that way about the people we love. We’ll leave it at that. Sometimes we even try to run away from a relationship whenever it involves conflict.
Friendship is a mixture of agreement and conflict. You can’t have one without the other.
(I’ll post more thoughts about The Social Network this week.)