"The Interview" Movie Review
Written by Joshua G. Sears.
One would expect a comedy movie about a nation that was allegedly hacked by the nation that the movie was making fun of to actually be funny. The Interview created by Seth Rogen and James Franco, is the movie where the two actors are tasked by the CIA to kill the supreme leader of North Korea, Kim Jong Un. Many speculators have raved that it is supposed to be 2014’s Team America.
Full disclosure: I like Seth Rogen and James Franco’s work. They make me laugh in
their movies. This movie, though labeled a “comedy” was not that comedic. The jokes were grossly immature and could have been executed better. I did get a kick out of the first five minutes with rapper Eminem and his deadpan performance, but that was the only funny bit.
When the viewer gets the to actual plot of the movie, it feels more like a satire that is trying too hard. The dynamic duo play as a parody of networks such as E! and other gossip “news”. The parody of the Hollywood industry of crap is spot on. Franco’s character even knows it’s crap but as he says, “give the people what they want”. Perfectly mirroring the two countries’ cults of personality.
Reflecting on the movie as a whole, you see striking similarities between North Korea’s celebrity culture and the US’s celebrity culture. Droves of people go out of their way to find the next bit of “news” [read: gossip] about the person(s) that they “look up to” [read: worship].
People lining up to read about Kim Kardashian’s impersonation of a Krispy Kreme doughnut is really no different than the entire nation looking up to “Great, merciful, supreme, and handsome” leader Kim Jong Un. The only difference is that America has a diverse group of people that the masses can worship while N. Korea only gets one.
Seeing an entire country revere one man as a god, makes you wonder if the people of N. Korea see it as “free will”. To me (a greedy imperialist American) I see the N. Koreans as brainwashed or threatened against their will. To the N. Koreans, they grew up on the fear, it is all they know. For generations, most N. Koreans grew up in chains and to them, their chains are their “free will”.
Venturing into spoiler territory, Seth Rogen falls for the (legitimately) beautiful N. Korean Minister of Propaganda. She realizes that what she has been doing to the N. Korean people is wrong and decides to make up for it. She flat out tells the duo that assassinating Un, isn’t going to solve anything. She decides that the duo has to, instead, assassinate the idea of “The GodKing” Un. Then, and only then do the people of N. Korea break the chains they revere, overthrow the house of Kim, gain Internet access, and live happily ever after.
As an optimist, I’d like to think the N. Korean people wised up and started an AnarchoCapitalist society, that was influenced by the unlimited foresight of James Franco and his “Hollywood wisdom”, where cancer was defeated and beautiful N. Korean women are exported by the dozens (as utopias ALWAYS have beautiful people).
In the minds of Sony’s target audience, they set up a democracy where the US has the same amount of influence over the North as they do the South, where any Korean can get a loan, and live happily ever after because “freedom” always comes with a 7% APR attached, with your home as collateral.
By all means, this movie is not a bad movie. It is a bad comedy, but not a bad movie. It had themes and literary devices just like any average movie. For any enterprising revolutionaries or anarchists out there, if you take anything from this movie, take this: assassinating a person is not the same as assassinating an idea. You can always kill someone with ease, but if the idea sticks with the target’s people, nothing will change. If you want to free people from the chains that they revere, you have to assassinate the idea that “the chains” are what is best for them.
Only then can you be truly free.
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