2003 — photos of Barbara Streisand’s Malibu home are published on the internet. Streisand, through a lawsuit, attempted to suppress the images; however, ironically this led to the pictures gaining viral attention. This phenomenon has come to be known as the Streisand Effect: where attempts to censor or hide information publicizes it more widely.
Controversy surrounding the Sony hack and North Korean threats of terrorism in response the the release of Superbad duo, Seth Rogan and Evan Goldberg’s latest masterpiece, The Interview has led to frenzy of media hype.
The film stars Dave Skylark (James Franco), entertainment talk show host of “Skylark Tonight,” and Aaron Rapaport (Rogan), his producer. After a run-in with an old college friend (Anders Holm of Workaholics), who is a senior producer on 60 Minutes, Aaron begins to feel inadequate from the vanity and lack of “real news” on their show.
The film’s satire extends, surprisingly, from not only the North Korean regime, but also takes jabs at American media and journalism.
To please a now disheartened Aaron, Dave pitches the idea of interviewing Kim Jong Un, who is a self-proclaimed “super fan” of the show. However, the interview turns Mission Impossible when the CIA recruit the comedy duo to assassinate the dictator.
The two separate for a large portion of the movie as Dave has a growing “bromance” for Kim, who is hilariously depicted as equal parts ruthless dictator, and misunderstood sensitive soul. Aaron must remain the voice of reason to keep the mission on track.
Co-stars Randall Park (Veep) as Kim Jong Un, and Diana Bang (Bates Motel) as Sook Park, Kim’s media director, give outstanding support performances. Park’s ability to seamlessly switch between sense and sensibility creates the best gags in the film. Similarly, Bang switches with expert timing between callous party official and Aaron’s double-crossing lover.
Rogan and Goldberg take a “throw everything against the wall and see what sticks” approach with a myriad of comic styles. A majority of the film, even the mises-en-scène (cinematography, staging, lighting, set pieces) itself, plays more like a sitcom and appears to be more suited for an SNL skit than a theatrical release.
Hatched by the same minds that brought you This is the End and Superbad, The Interview is a quintessential Rogan/Franco flick, as sophomoric as it is funny — and that’s not a bad thing.
The Interview rides on the back of a lot of controversy. However, after seeing the movie everyone seems to be saying, “Is that what all the fuss is about?”
Many have criticized The Interview, claiming it is not as funny as previous films, but much of this is a result of all the media hype. This film needed to be made, and Rogan, Goldberg, and Franco are exactly The Three Stooges to do it. You know what you are getting into when you go to a movie starring this diabolical duo, and The Interview executes its purpose to hilarious effect.
Regardless, although the details of the Sony hack are in the air, Rogan Goldberg and Franco have successfully solicited terroristic threats (as well as be forced by Sony to tone down Kim Jong Un’s death scene, and have an originally October release pushed back to December) from the most reclusive and autocratic state for their production of this movie.
Is this not then the greatest satire?