Visual Review 7: The Social Network Poster

The Social Network was one of the most highly anticipated movies of 2010, seeing as how it tells the story of how what is arguably the most popular website, Facebook, came into existence. To do so, it chronicles the journey of Harvard student Mark Zuckerberg, a now infamous name. Zuckerberg is portrayed my actor Jesse Eisenberg, who had to adopt many of the young billionaire’s odd mannerisms for the role. This is not an action movie, there is no real violence or suspense and not really much romance either. Yet, the movie poster was completely effective in selling the idea of this film.

It is simple. We see a picture of Eisenberg in which he is neither smiling nor grimacing, but rather he has his mouth half open in a sort of confused looking manner. And over these, in large white letters, we see the words “You don’t get to 500 million friends without making a few enemies.” The words in this poster and their placement are very deliberate visual choices. They literally do the talking and allow the viewer to draw insight as to what this movie will be about. We now know it is about a rather popular boy, who one realizes must be the founder of Facebook because of the search bar included to the poster’s side. And we know that this is not only going to be a story about the site’s founding, but also about friendships. Or rather, broken friendships. Since Zuckerberg’s high profile friendship with co-founder Eduardo Saverin had already made splashes in headlines prior to the movie’s release, the audience already had prior knowledge that made this poster work even better. It was able to be simple and sell the story everyone wanted to hear.

One thing to note is that Facebook is often recognized for it’s simple layout and blue and white color scheme, and the poster mimics this in many ways without making the site the center of attention. Firstly, the blue search bar featured to the side is easily recognizable but is rather small, and that is also where the name of the movie is shown in a rather small print. In this case, it was a visual choice to have the picture and the quote make a bigger impact than the actual social network aspect of the movie, and allows the viewer to realize that this will be a story focused on this boy and his relationships. Eisenberg’s face is shot in negative space, making it stand out and implying that this story takes a dark turn. It draws in an audience because it is unique but also effective, much like how Facebook itself drew in it’s users.

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