VIDEO ESSAY: Dislikable Characters – THE SOCIAL NETWORK

THE SOCIAL NETWORK

They’re making a film about Facebook?

Commentators greeted news of the project with scepticism. But with a tight script from Aaron Sorkin (THE WEST WING) and clinical direction from David Fincher (GONE GIRL), THE SOCIAL NETWORK has proved to be one of the modern era’s best – and most prescient – thrillers. (Even though a lot of the drama plays out over computer screens.)

At the centre of THE SOCIAL NETWORK, however, is Mark Zuckerberg (a star-making turn from Jesse Eisenberg). He’s a profoundly dislikable character. 

Does a protagonist have to be likable for the audience to like the film around them?

What makes Mark Zuckerberg such a compelling and fascinating character? Why can’t we stop watching THE SOCIAL NETWORK, even as we become increasingly repulsed by his actions? 

Sorkin described getting into the character’s head while writing THE SOCIAL NETWORK: 

When you’re writing someone like that, you have to find the parts of his character that are like you. That was easy for me to do. I don’t have Mark’s IQ and I don’t have his anger, but I am shy, I am awkward in social situations. There have been times when I’ve felt that I had a sign on me that said: ‘I don’t fit in’.

Check out the video below and let us know what you think in the comments section!

Screenwriting Tips: Dislikable Characters
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