Before the hype of the Grammys and the Super Bowl, another media was making waves throughout not just America, but the world. If you haven’t heard of the movie “The Interview” starring Seth Rogen and James Franco, you need to Google it now. Better yet, just read my movie review and you will see what’s had everyone talking for weeks.
The film’s premise follows the entertainment news show that stars Franco’s character, Dave Skylark, and Rogen’s character, producer, Aaron Rapoport. “Skylark Tonight” resembles our E! News or Entertainment Tonight, but way more outrageous.
For example, Dave Skylark sits down with celebrities and gets them to expose something about themselves that the public doesn’t know, like Eminem being gay or Rob Lowe going bald (both are fiction). No one takes them seriously, even when they catch their big break and get the chance to interview the leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-un.
The dialogue between Franco (“Spider-Man” trilogy, “Spring Breakers”) and Rogen is what I like to call “stupid humor,” and is seen in many of their comedy films. Rogen, who’s famous for his hilarious characters in “Neighbors,” “Superbad” and “Pineapple Express,” plays a more serious role opposite Franco in this film. Franco’s famous line from the movie that is said over and over again, “they hate us cause they ain’t us”, will be in your head for weeks. Trust me.
The controversy in the film and what triggered the uproar in real life comes when Agent Lacey (Lizzy Caplan, “Mean Girls”) approaches the men and asks them to kill Kim Jong-un when they go for the interview. After long discussions about inappropriate, off topic things, the two decide to do it.
Mostly, it’s Dave Skylark who wants to do it because he’s ego-centric and believes it will boost his credentials even more. Rapoport is the more cautious of the two and expresses the danger with just traveling to the country.
Obviously, the idea of assassinating the leader of North Korea is what brought pandemonium from their country towards Sony and America. Many people may not know this because it was not big in the media then, but the first reports of distaste about the film came back in June of last year.
The Korean Central News Agency stated that releasing this film “is the most blatant act of terrorism and war and will absolutely not be tolerated.” The following month, the KCNA sent a letter to President Obama asking the film to be pulled.
I think all the hype of seeing this movie didn’t come from the plot or the actors starring in it, it came from the controversy surrounding it. People didn’t even hear about it until it was all over the news and Sony decided to pull it from theaters.
The hack that happened against Sony Pictures Entertainment in November, releasing emails between leaders in the industry talking negatively about actors and other people in the business was, I believe, in direct relation to this film. Even though the North Korean government denied the hack, it’s hard to connect the timing with everything that was going on.
The character of Kim Jong-un is not what you would expect him to be. He likes margaritas and plays basketball and is weirdly obsessed with Katy Perry’s song, “Firework,” which plays a significant role in the film. Skylark and Kim become very close and makes Skylark question the assassination plan against the North Korean leader. I won’t spoil the ending, but you can imagine it was not one that would lift the North Koreans’ spirits.
If you have Netflix or are willing to pay $2.99 on YouTube, you can watch the film now or wait till its DVD release this month. I suggest watching it. I found it hilarious and was laughing out loud the whole time.
Some people told me they didn’t make it 20 minutes in before turning it off. For me, it was worth watching to see what all the hype was about. Like Skylark said, “they hate us cause they ain’t us.”