The Social Network: Visual Success, Musical Failure
I just wanted to express my recent excitement, disappointment and criticism following the release of The Social Network, released at the beginning of this October. Social Network follows the formation and lawsuits of Facebook in a quick, witty film (Justin Timberlake doesn't disappoint, starring as the inventor of music sharing website, Napster). At two hours, it was a good length, and the characters are very human and believable, a refreshing break from the intense fantasy-oriented movies of this summer.
I didn't see Social Network for kicks and giggles, so to speak. I confess my interest in the formation of Facebook, but I went to see the movie because of a deep-rooted obsession--yes, obsession with Nine Inch Nails' front-man, Trent Reznor. He was the musical director of this film along with Atticus Ross, a former collaborator on NIN's Ghosts album, a 36-track instrumental spectacle of epic proportions. With all the hype of Reznor's free release of the music for the film, I was sure that it would be a complete success. I'd only previewed one track (minus piano) before heading to the film. That track, Hand Covers Bruise, is featured in the opening minutes of the film as Zuckerburg, the founder of Facebook, leaves a bar on the Harvard College campus.
Trent Reznor's contributions to the film left me utterly disappointed. Of the five songs used throughout the movie--if even five, it might've been three-- two of them were completely original (Hand Covers Bruise, Pieces of the Whole), one was a two-minute rock remix of a classical song, hastily thrown together as if Reznor just didn't care, and the last two or three were (wait for it) tracks off the 2007 album, Ghosts. I left the film with a feeling of sheer depression. Is my idol finally fading out to retire among the other washed-up celebrities? Is it his time to exit the music scene with grace before he makes a fool of himself, yet again, or is he just going through a bad phase?
As for me, I would formally invite Reznor to answer these questions. After spending the spring and summer working on this album, I expected more from the founder of Nine Inch Nails. So here's my suggestion: If you like music but don't know of NIN, yes, go see it. If you're into the plot, the visuals, DEFINITELY go see it. But if you're a hard-core NIN fan like me, and you don't want to feel the harsh rain of depression, stay away from The Social Network and watch something more musically interesting (like Man On Fire with Denzel Washington).