David Fincher is no stranger to making great films throughout his career. Though his feature debut left a lot to be desired, Fincher has carved his own path as a filmmaker since then and has built up a catalog that rivals Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino, and David Lynch. Coming off Alien 3, David Fincher’s next film was Seven, which follows a retiring police officer and his newly transferred partner track down a serial killer who targets people who he thinks represent one of the seven deadly sins. Both a critical and commercial success, the film is lauded as one of the best crime thrillers ever made. A few years later, Fincher directed Fight Club, based on the novel of the same name by Chuck Palahniuk; This film is about a depressed man suffering from insomnia who meets a guy named Tyler Durden, and eventually, the two men form an underground fight club. While considered a commercial failure, Fight Club gained cult status when most people realized the deeper meaning behind Fincher’s film.
Over ten years later, Fincher would direct one of the most successful films in his filmography, The Social Network. Based on the book Accidental Billionaires by Ben Mezrich, Harvard undergrad and computer genius Mark Zuckerberg creates one of the most successful social media networks in the world, Facebook; however, personal and legal battles threaten to destroy his career. Written by one of the best screenwriters in Hollywood, Aaron Sorkin, The Social Network was a critical and commercial success, garnering eight Academy Award nominations and winning three. Three different types of films are directed by one man, which movie is the best? Let’s explore each film even deeper.
This excellent mystery, crime thriller is known for its memorable ending. Of course, you can’t have a great ending if the film does a terrible job building up to it and Seven shines from beginning to end. While the case can be easily dismissed as something you’ll see on CSI: Whatever the location is, what makes Seven above the typical procedure crime case is the compelling story and well-crafted characters. The film keeps you guessing until the end. Even when you’ve got Seven figured out, that wonderful twist slaps you back down to reality.
Fincher does an excellent job building the core cast of characters, namely William Somerset, David Mills, and Tracy. We actually get to know these three, feel their pain, heartache, and laughter because of the quieter scenes that allow us to connect with the main characters. Had we not cared about these three then the twist would’ve been met with a shrug. The cinematography and art direction on the film also makes Seven pop, with the color palette and continued use of rain helped make the atmosphere sad, depressing, and moody. A strong film that makes great use of its talented cast.
By now, you know that Fight Club is more than just fighting. It tackles the themes of masculinity and anarchism. It explores the worse nature in men and the toxicity that comes with it. While the twist of Tyler Durden and Jack being the same person does require a suspension of disbelief, it’s still a damn good one that hammers down the film’s overall message. As always, Edward Norton is fantastic as Jack. His character development throughout the film appears seamless thanks to Norton’s natural charisma and screen presence. Norton plays off well with Brad Pitt, who’s confident swagger never feels phony at any point of the movie.
As stated previously, the film could’ve done a better job with its twist as several plot holes pop up. How does none of his followers question the insanity of the man they’re following? Who the hell creates a different persona of a soap salesman? It’s a big testament to the film that it never loses momentum once the reveal kicks in. The twist overall does make sense when you overlook some of those minor details. The ending is also perfect, with Fincher staying away from any sort of happy ending that many films try to shoot for.
The Social Network
First, the teaming of David Fincher and Aaron Sorkin is perfect. Sorkin’s sharp wordplay and plotting play well with David Fincher’s total command of the film. Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t exactly come across as the most likable person on the planet throughout the film; however, there’s no denying the rich story that surrounds him. You understand Zuckerberg’s mindset and his shreds of humanity are showcased over his desire to create Facebook because he wanted to have fun with the cool kids and his love for Erica. The twist and turns of The Social Network help elevate the film, yet never loses sight of its overall message. Jesse Eisenberg was simply perfect for this role. His dialogue, mannerisms, and body language help convey the picture of Mark Zuckerberg. The secondary cast play their parts well and despite being a 2-hour film, The Social Network remains compelling all the way through.
So which film is the best? Seven. Though The Social Network and Fight Club are great films, Seven is a flawless movie with an unforgettable ending.