Review #135: (Soundtrack) Trent Reznor/Atticus Ross – The Social Network

Composer – Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross
Film – The Social Network (2010)

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The Social Network was a drama released in 2010. The film focuses on Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg, his initial creation of the social networking site and the problems which quickly arose (lawsuits, egos, money). The Social Network received critical praise after its release, being named the best film of the year by 22 critics and in the top 10 by 78 critics. Award wise the film managed to be nominated for 8 Oscars, taking home 3 of them for best film editing, best adapted screenplay and, as we’ll go onto review, best original score.

David Fincher (director) decided to go down a little different a route with the music to The Social Network. Rather than bring in an orchestra or a well known film composer as usual he brought in Trent Reznor, relatively new to the film composing scene, but certainly a well known musician, coming from the band Nine Inch Nails. Trent brought his electronic sound to The Social Network, creating a often very dark and tense tone which matches perfectly with the subjects of online privacy, backstabbing and greed. There are two styles that Reznor draws upon throughout this film, rock and electronica. The rockier pieces appear often during the moments of anger between characters, mainly including a repeated overdriven guitar riff with a simple beat to accompany. On the other side are the electronic pieces, which sway between very long synth drones, often either representing the calmer scenes or tense scenes depending on the aggressive tone of the synths. The other electronic pieces sound more techno than anything, including a pulsing basslines and reverb smothered melody, trying to represent the moments of Zuckerberg actually creating the website and developing the brand later on. Trent Reznor being a producer himself and having written/produced a massive discography for Nine Inch Nails already displays his ability to mix a great sounding soundtrack. The entire film was pretty much mixed to perfection, moments when the music needed to overpower the scene came, but only when they were required, including incredible clarity and distinction between each instrument and their place in the piece.

Trent Reznor’s work on this film was fantastic and certainly boosted the acclaim the film received, pushing each scene further in terms of the emotion director David Fincher was trying to create.

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