By Soumya Raj:
North Korea called US President Obama a monkey. They were so scared of this movie that they compared the president of one of the most influential nations to a backward primate. Amidst all the hullabaloo surrounding the much polemical movie, The Interview, one would expect it to live up to at least half its hype, but it doesn’t. The Interview is nothing fresh or fiery at all. Pretty daring, one might say, but not at all as controversial as we expected it to be.
To start with, let us tackle the misunderstanding that the movie was “banned”. The release of the movie was withheld because of several threats. This just added fuel to fire, and attracted more attention to the movie than it actually could have garnered otherwise. Another reason was the film’s subject – the very delicate relationship between the US and North Korea. The Interview seems to have benefited a great deal from this “Streisand effect”.
David Skylark (James Franco) and Seth Rogen (Aaron Rapoport) run a popular interview show full of Page 3, mostly irrelevant gossip. On discovering Kim Jong-Un (Randall Park) to be a closet fan of many things American, including Katy Perry and David Skylark’s sensationalist show, Skylark Tonight, they manage to land in an interview with him as an attempt to report “serious” news for a change, to hold their ground as worthy journalists. Their plans change a bit when the CIA comes knocking at the door, recruiting them in a conspiracy to assassinate the North Korean dictator.
James Franco, Seth Rogen and Randall Park are brilliant in their performances. Randall Park as Kim Jong-Un is hilarious. The chemistry between the protagonist and the antagonist is way more intriguing than between him and his dutiful sidekick, Aaron. Also, things that should absolutely not be taken seriously are – Kim Jong-Un doesn’t have a butthole, Eminem is gay, and the US is running a propaganda to assassinate Kim Jong-Un. The direction is wonderful. What the movie is not, however, is serious. People who go in expecting it to be a politically nuanced movie will be disappointed, and how! Don’t expect it to be politically prim or scandalous. What the movie is, is a parody of the US hegemony and the North Korean dictatorship, and the relationship between the two of them as well. The movie is an all-out entertainer and will engage you in some of the loudest laughs you’ll have this year. You may realize that within the witty to-and-fro are a few kernels of truth, and heartfelt moments, too. And grossly offensive content for Kim Jong-Un. ( while I do believe he has nothing to be that offended about if he actually saw all the memes about him floating around online.)
It is every bit a Seth Rogen entertainer. IMDB gave The Interview a 9.2 on 10 anticipation rating, almost as much as The Godfather. While The Godfather continues to be a cult classic, I doubt The Interview will be as impressionable. It doesn’t imprint itself on the viewer’s minds, but does tickle your funny bone. So, go for the promising hoots and laughs this cinematographic satire provides. And more than anything, go for the adequately interesting and humorous chemistry between James Franco and Randall Park. You will not be let down.