The Social Network — “The break up scene”

Being a Computer Science major, a film revealing the story of Facebook and its creator is captivating to say the least. After watching the movie for the second time, (the first being in theaters) it is safe to say that I originally missed out on a lot.

The scene that sticks out the most to me is the very first scene; “the breakup scene”. Here, Mark and his girlfriend are found conversing in a bar. This scene is held in high regard due to the fact that it sets the tone for the rest of the film. The short five minute opening scene does a lot to teach us about our main character, Mark Zuckerberg.

Right off the bat the scene begins with a slightly different mise-en-scene. The scene’s first few seconds begin with a black frame, entirely focusing your attention on Mark and his girlfriend Erica’s conversation. As the darkness fades, the camera pans in for a close up on the two. The filmmakers use classical filming techniques and editing to create a very cozy, relatable feeling, in return gaining the viewer’s full focus and comfort in the setting. The entire scene jumps between short close up shots of Mark and Erica bringing just their faces into focus. The diegesis of this scene tells us exactly what Mark’s personality is all about. With the dialogue at a rapid pace, it discloses the intelligence that exists between the two. Mark’s self-centered, arrogant behavior foreshadows his actions for the rest of the film. For example, his compelling desire to be correct shows when he interrupts his girlfriend when she is clearly upset just to correct her on calling “final clubs” “finals clubs”. The filmmakers do a very good job at portraying the type of person Mark is; a very smart, insecure “nerd” who has something to prove to the world, in which he does through Facebook.

This scene can be viewed here:

The Social Network — “The break up scene”

3 thoughts on “The Social Network — “The break up scene”

  1. What Cody talks about here is extremely crucial to the opening of this film – the mise-en-scene of the opening helps to familiarize the audience with the subject. The more comfortable that we feel with the characters and the more relatable they seem, the more invested we become as audiences. Since Fincher and team set this up early one, it sets the tone for the remainder of the film.


  2. I agree that this scene is crucial to understanding Mark. I agree that he is a self centered person and that is who he remains to be throughout the movie. Every decision Mark makes is for his own benefit and he doesn’t care how it impacts the people around him.


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