Saturday, April 2, 2011

The Experiment, The Town & The Social Network

all based on true stories. all well-made movies. one stars an academy award winner, another one directed, starred and written by an academy award director-writer, and another one stars a recent young academy award nominee.

the seemingly harmless experiment that turned ugly; the town with the highest number of bank robberies in america, and the tale of the youngest billionaire in the world.


* * *



this disturbing movie is based on an actual experiment run by a professor to determine how normal people react to specific roles given to them based on the circumstances that they’re in.

so this group of people were told that they will be paid big bucks for participating. the catch? it must be for 2 straight weeks, they will be held in a remote location for that period, their rights may be violated at some point, and if they back-off before the experiment is completed – they won’t get paid.

agreeing to all terms, the men were taken to this warehouse which turned out to be a mock prison. they’re then separated into 2 groups – the prison guards; and the prisoners. it was all made to be real – the ‘guards’ were given uniform, set of rules that they MUST follow or else no payment, and armed with baton; while the ‘prisoners’ are given worn-out prison-clothes and locked in tiny cells.

at first they all laugh at this ‘acting’ that they have to do. but when one of the ‘prison guards’ got gila kuasa, things started to get really ugly. the ‘camera’ that is said to monitor their ‘performance’ to confirm payment didn’t help.

that’s when you see various human behaviours – different people reacts differently to this stressful situation they’re in. like in a real prison; there would be one guard who is not ruthless, and there would be one prisoner who stood up and retaliate to protect other prisoners. these normal men became so obsessed with their ‘role’ that they would do anything to ‘survive’ – beating up the man they befriended before the start of the experiment – just for this experiment that violates their rights as human.

it addresses the question : what would YOU do, given the same circumstances; be it as the ‘prison guard’, or the ‘prisoner’? who’s to say that you won’t succumb to the cliche of the roles given to you? if you’re told that you’re the ‘guard’, would you naturally be a disciplinarian? if ‘prisoner’, would you then naturally flow into being a trouble-maker?

very strong, intense performance by the leads – both academy award winners for best actors – adrien brody, and forest whitaker. a great watch, but for me, once is enough. the outcome of the experiment was very interesting; but much too disturbing for me to see it again.


* * *



ok, my bad. this movie is NOT based on a true story, but based on the fact that the ‘town’ which is ‘charlestown’ – really IS where bank robbers mostly are. during the premier of the movie, director and lead ben affleck did say; not everyone in charlestown is bad, and not all are bank robbers!

the plot? group of locals rob a bank with masks. but the pretty bank manager might know something, so ben affleck character must befriend her to find out more. ruggedly handsome recovering-bank robber falls for helpless damsel-bank manager. duuh. now he juggles conflict between pleasing his bank-robber-buddies by robbing another bank, his love for the pretty bank-manager who makes him want to reform, and in between, running away from the fbi agent out to get him and the gang.

the story itself is actually a bit hindustan – haha, meaning it’s a bit dramatized in terms of

  • how easily she falls for him
  • there’s always the ‘more aggressive, gangsta ‘brother’ who takes care and always wants to protect’
  • the hero must have a sad past to make heroin feels sorry (and want to hug him haha); his mom leaving his dad with him when he’s little
  • there’s always the determine-to-catch fbi agent who keeps the action going ala tommy lee jones’ character going after harrison ford in ‘the fugitive’


though some plots are predictable, it’s a nice watch, and a nice heist movie. if you like a good heist movie with some sappy romance – this is for you. if not, baik tengok ‘the bank job’ lagi cool. sigh. it’s just that i forgot how oh-so-fine ben affleck’s abs are. grrr.


* * *



ok, i know lah basi already, and the billion people who has a facebook account have already seen this masterful tale of the youngest billionaire in the world. but here’s my review.

when i watched the movie :

  1. i didn’t know mark zuckerberg was THAT sarcastic. to the point of being a total jerk.
  2. i was surprised that mark zuckerberg let himself be potrayed in such a negative light.
  3. i didn’t know that the wardo character is such a sweetheart. sigh.
  4. i didn’t know that i would totally HATE justin timberlake in this.


after watching, i googled, and :

  1. it seemed that mark zuckerberg IS sarcastic, but he’s never THAT mean, and never would intentionally betray a good friend.
  2. mark zuckerberg was actually being a good sport and just laugh off how he was potrayed in the movie. duuh. if you have a billion dollars, what do you care what some movie talks about you!
  3. wardo IS a sweetheart isn’t he? sigh.
  4. the real sean parker said, his character in the movie potrayed by justin timberlake is PURE FICTION, and he said, “he wished his life was THAT cool.”


what i like about the movie :

  • i like movies with narration. it makes it more personal. like story-telling.
  • no wonder jesse eisenberg earned an oscar nomination for his role as the billionaire – his fast-talking, wise-cracking character is fun to watch!
  • my youngest sister is an IT programmer, network-er or whatever you call these computer geeks – so i was really thinking of her every time ‘mark zuckerberg’ rushes on his laptop and started pounding the keys to type in the codes or whatever. kinda cool.
  • the scenes moving from past to present is good, and keeps us grounded to the fact that there were lawsuits going on – as we watched the great invention of facebook unfolds.

i like ‘the social network’. i’d watch it again. if you’re one of those rare people who hasn’t seen it AND you have a facebook account, shame on you. haha. go watch history in making!


* * *


man, lamanya tak review movie!


ICA said...

Syigim, of course I ketinggalan bab-bab movies ni. but I do plan nak watch The Town coz seems like a good movie, something that I would enjoy. Plus, dpt good review esp when they say it's Mr Ben's best work yet.

The social network pun nak tengok...coz Mark's gotta be super genius to create fb yg menjadi kegilaan ramai tuu...

Syigim said...

ica, yes, the town got good reviews - in fact, ppl were surprised the movie wasn't nominated for best directing/movie.

hmm, me too la ica! so many (downloaded) movies, so little time!

Fairus Basir from The Juggling Queen said...

my sentence would be.. 'Man.. lamanye x tengok blog SYIGIM!' hahaha.. by the way always love your review no matter what the movies are. I'll find the movie you reviewed. (biarpun dah basi, nak tgk jugak) :))

Syigim said...

fairus, missing your comments in my blog! now lagi lah bz ye with ur online shop! :D good luck, dear!

just find some little time to drop by ye! :)

Nia said...

rasanya yang best sekali social network la. yg 1st tu, mesti ala2 menganggu ketenangan sikit. biasanya kalau filem, mesti dh byk jadi fiksyen kan.

Zulaikha Mohamad said...

I don't know y, tp i suke tgk social network tuh.. haha.. i pon ketinggalan zaman bab2 movie ni.. just watch the movie few months ago kot.. haha

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