Jesse Eisenberg gives a really solid performance. He’s the guy you love to hate while you simultaneously feel sorry for him. The rest of the film was also well-cast. Justin Timberlake plays a convincingly smooth-talking pseudo-psycopath; Bryan Barter rounds out the male leads as the jilted ex-best friend and one of the more relatable, grounded characters. The film is many things, one of which is an examination of the patho-personality and psychology behind nature of our society’s idealized success fantasy.
There was an abundance of high-level techie talk in the beginning of the film, and some very fast-paced conversation between the characters. I had this thought about Aaron Sorkin’s dialogue on the drive home: Sorkin uses his dialogue to convince us that he’s brilliant when I think instead he could use it to convince us that the character’s brilliant (thereby scaling it back ever-so-slightly). Don’t get me wrong, I think Sorkin’s a brilliant writer. I’m a fan of Sports Night, The West Wing, and Studio 60. I just think it’s a bit much for some people to take sometimes. The film calmed down later. Or was that just me adapting to the pace? I’m sure the excellent direction by David Fincher had something to do with it, who manages a very good performance out of Eisenberg and the rest of the cast.