Examining Andrew Garfield in ‘The Social Network’

In the foreground itself, social network It shouldn’t be an entertaining movie. It takes place between boardrooms and college dorm rooms, following conversations between disliked and unqualified businessmen as they bumbling and cheating their way into millions. Who wants to sit through two hours of conversations about posts and social media, ending with Mark Zuckerberg becoming the world’s youngest billionaire?

Despite the seemingly dull and obnoxious nature of the real-life story it tells, The Social Network has become one of the most important and influential films of the 21st century. Between Aaron Sorkin’s brisk, sharp writing, David Fincher’s characteristically nuanced direction, and a slick score from Nine Inch Nails’ Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, the movie revealed the thrills to be found around convention tables and back-end development. Really, the movie isn’t about any of those things at all; It is about friendship and betrayal.

Although these themes were carved into Sorkin’s screenplay and enhanced by Fincher’s directing, it’s up to the actors to ensure the reality hits home. Surprisingly, amid so much praise for the film’s production, there was so little admiration for stars Jesse Eisenberg and Andrew Garfield, who portray a heartbreaking friendship breakup.

When the film was in its infancy, Fincher first took an interest in Garfield for the role of Zuckerberg. This idea was abandoned when he met the actor, however, as Fincher found that Garfield had “amazing emotional access to the core of his humanity,” as he noted. Los Angeles Times. Fincher was looking for someone without that access, so Garfield wasn’t a perfect fit for the unemotional, detached Zuckerberg. Instead, Fincher cast him opposite Eisenberg as Eduardo Saverin.

The Brazilian entrepreneur, who started out as a college friend of Zuckerberg’s, was part of the initial Facebook setup, but their relationship and business partnership gradually fell apart through a series of infidelities and disagreements. Accordingly, Zuckerberg’s name was permanently attached to Facebook, while Saverin was largely absent from the cultural conversation. Saverin may have lost his Facebook fame to his ex-boyfriend, but his relative anonymity gave Garfield space to explore the character in his own right, rather than trying to emulate well-known behaviors like Eisenberg.

Talk to Garfield Los Angeles Times about his preparation for the role, which did not include a meeting with the real Eduardo Saverin, because they did not feel it was necessary. He said, “It wasn’t deterministic because Aaron Sorkin wrote this incredibly detailed and special script in which he was able to embody a bunch of real people in all their aspects, so it was all right on the page. But in terms of doing some kind of mime performance, I didn’t feel like that it is necessary or important.”

The actor’s decision to avoid imitations served him well. By researching the character, rather, in his own exploration of Sorkin’s screenplay, he developed the perfect antithesis to Eisenberg’s unfeeling Zuckerberg and the generally unsentimental tone of the film. Garfield spends the first half of the runtime playing Saverin as caring and naive, trying his best to be a good friend against Mark’s protests.

When Mark told him, “I need you,” while developing the first version of Facebook, Saverin, soft and miserable, would sit down next to him and declare, “I’m here for you.” There is genuine concern for his friend in the aftermath of his breakup, to which Mark simply replies, “No, I need the algorithm you use to rank the chess players.” Garfield’s entire demeanor during the scene is laced with concern for his friend, and for the girls he objects to online, he wrestles internally over how best to help him.

Garfield’s character remains harmless and likable throughout the early stages of their friendship, before Facebook’s widespread success, from dancing to Mark at a college party to disbelieving his growing interest from women. It’s a stark contrast to the Eduardo we see in the court scenes, which divide the story. When we find the characters sitting in a conference room, Garfield plays Eduardo as depressed and disillusioned. When he looked at Mark, his best friend, the light in his eyes disappeared.

This is the inconsistency Saverin Garfield endears to audiences. The excitement he once had of starting a business with his friend has been slowly dampened by Mark’s antics and disloyalty, which is heartbreaking when delivered by an all-human performance of Garfield. Garfield’s descent from loyal friend and ardent business partner to bitter foe culminates in a landmark scene at the end of the film, one that movie fans online have moved endlessly.

Once again, the court footage is intertwined with a scene that takes place in the main office of Facebook, where Eduardo learns that Mark has shorted his shares. As they start talking about the event, Garfield sits facing the camera, with a hazy Eisenberg behind him – he can’t even face his friend. He turns only to deliver the devastating line, “I was your only friend. You had one friend,” before turning back to tell the story, reserved and full of anger.

Garfield’s finest moment comes when Eduardo realizes Mark’s betrayal. At that moment, he finally gave up his care of Mark, and stormed into the office with a facial expression that reflected the distaste he now felt for his friend. Furious, he slams Mark’s laptop, relaying his lines with a mixture of anger, sadness, shock, and disappointment, both in Mark and himself for trusting him. Back in the courtroom, he confronts Zuckerberg again, looking him dead in the eye to deliver the shocking statistic – his shares have fallen to 0.3%.

In the Facebook office, Garfield delivers the iconic catchphrase, “Sorry, my Prada in the cleaners, along with my hoodie and cap, you’re flopping in your trick bag,” with so much purpose that it’s been stuck in the minds of Fincher fans ever since. Then, without blinking, he leans over to Zuckerberg and says, “You’re a better lawyer than an asshole, because I’m not going back for 30%, I’m going back for everything.” His delivery is defiant, almost sinister, and is the final nail in the coffin of their friendship – Eduardo is done trying to get around Mark’s inconsiderate modus operandi. Instead, he resorts to matching her.

Garfield’s performance as Eduardo Saverin may have flown under the radar about mounting praise for it social networkAn item of production, but equally deserving of praise. In contrast to Eisenberg, Garfield channels emotion and humanity in his performance, which makes Mark seem even more unsympathetic.

The real-life Eduardo Saverin may now be a billionaire and entrepreneur like Zuckerberg, but Garfield is not playing that guy. He’s playing his own interpretation of Sorkin’s script, one that doesn’t tell a Facebook story but tells a story of a failed friendship. In a movie that could have been just as unemotional as its main character, Garfield provides a more human element.