The Interview. Yes, The Interview

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The Interview. Yes, The Interview

[Spoil­ers ahead. Pro­ceed accordingly.]

It was Christ­mas Day, the gifts were opened, brunch was done, and I have watched The Princess Bride and A Christ­mas Story enough times I can lip-​synch them, but I felt like watch­ing something.

Of course, I had to watch The Inter­view.

Mind you, for as long as I can remem­ber, I have made it a point to watch/​read banned films/​books. The Inter­view is avail­able on YouTube, my TV can play YouTubes, so I plunked down $6.

It was worth it. It’s a very funny seri­ous movie.

Clau­dia Rosett found The Interview

crude, vul­gar, silly, tedious at times and crammed with what we might politely call locker-​room gags, pre­sum­ably meant to appeal to the low­est com­mon denom­i­na­tor of mod­ern pop culture.

I’m cool with that.

But,

as a graphic jab at North Korea’s total­i­tar­ian sys­tem, includ­ing its third-​generation cur­rent tyrant, Kim Jong Un, The Inter­view — despite its lav­ish dose of rub­bish — is a stand­out achieve­ment. It is a bur­lesque laced with moments of truth that any­one can understand.

Rich Klein finds that “The Inter­view” really does sub­vert North Korea’s régime.

Much has been said about The Interview’s scene where Kim Jong Un gets blown up to smithereens. The real-​life Kim prob­a­bly threw a hissy fit over that, but what should keep him awake at night is the inter­view itself, which celebrity talk show host Dave Sky­lark (played by James Franco) starts with pre-​scripted ques­tions and hits gold by ask­ing

why the coun­try can spend bil­lions of dol­lars on a nuclear weapons pro­gram but needs $100 mil­lion in UN aid each year to feed its people.

Kim (played by the very funny Ran­dall Park), a mas­ter manip­u­la­tor of the media, had wooed Sky­lark with every­thing from orgies to Soviet tanks in prepa­ra­tion to the inter­view. It reminded me of Fidel Cas­tro tak­ing Bar­bara Wal­ters for a ride back in the day, by land,

and by sea,

in prepa­ra­tion for Bar­bara Walters’s inter­views of Fidel Cas­tro (you can watch the 2020 here).

In real life, how­ever, Bar­bara refers to Fidel as “charis­matic, mag­netic,” so she didn’t do an inter­view like The Interview.

Rich Klein, again,

Think of the movie as Cher­nobyl for the dig­i­tal age. Just as the nuclear cat­a­stro­phe in the Soviet Union and the dan­ger­ously clumsy efforts to hide it exposed the Kremlin’s lead­er­ship as inept and morally bank­rupt, over­see­ing a super­power rust­ing from the inside, so does The Inter­view risk erod­ing the myths, fab­ri­ca­tions and blus­ter that keep the Kim dynasty in power.

Those who know how ought to dub and make the Inter­view avail­able in North Korea, and in every coun­try where tyrants thrive on per­son­al­ity cults. Venezuela. Cuba. And the stops in the Jen­nifer Lopez dic­ta­tor tour.

(The Inter­view has plenty of foul lan­guage, sex­ual sit­u­a­tions, gore and vio­lence, so you do not want your chil­dren around when it’s playing.)

Fausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S. and Latin Amer­i­can pol­i­tics, news and cul­ture at Fausta’s Blog.

[Spoilers ahead. Proceed accordingly.]

It was Christmas Day, the gifts were opened, brunch was done, and I have watched The Princess Bride and A Christmas Story enough times I can lip-synch them, but I felt like watching something.

Of course, I had to watch The Interview.

Mind you, for as long as I can remember, I have made it a point to watch/read banned films/books. The Interview is available on YouTube, my TV can play YouTubes, so I plunked down $6.

It was worth it. It’s a very funny serious movie.

Claudia Rosett found The Interview

crude, vulgar, silly, tedious at times and crammed with what we might politely call locker-room gags, presumably meant to appeal to the lowest common denominator of modern pop culture.

I’m cool with that.

But,

as a graphic jab at North Korea’s totalitarian system, including its third-generation current tyrant, Kim Jong Un, The Interview — despite its lavish dose of rubbish — is a standout achievement. It is a burlesque laced with moments of truth that anyone can understand.

Rich Klein finds that “The Interview” really does subvert North Korea’s regime.

Much has been said about The Interview’s scene where Kim Jong Un gets blown up to smithereens. The real-life Kim probably threw a hissy fit over that, but what should keep him awake at night is the interview itself, which celebrity talk show host Dave Skylark (played by James Franco) starts with pre-scripted questions and hits gold by asking

why the country can spend billions of dollars on a nuclear weapons program but needs $100 million in UN aid each year to feed its people.

Kim (played by the very funny Randall Park), a master manipulator of the media, had wooed Skylark with everything from orgies to Soviet tanks in preparation to the interview. It reminded me of Fidel Castro taking Barbara Walters for a ride back in the day, by land,

and by sea,

in preparation for Barbara Walters’s interviews of Fidel Castro (you can watch the 20/20 here).

In real life, however, Barbara refers to Fidel as “charismatic, magnetic,” so she didn’t do an interview like The Interview.

Rich Klein, again,

Think of the movie as Chernobyl for the digital age. Just as the nuclear catastrophe in the Soviet Union and the dangerously clumsy efforts to hide it exposed the Kremlin’s leadership as inept and morally bankrupt, overseeing a superpower rusting from the inside, so does The Interview risk eroding the myths, fabrications and bluster that keep the Kim dynasty in power.

Those who know how ought to dub and make the Interview available in North Korea, and in every country where tyrants thrive on personality cults. Venezuela. Cuba. And the stops in the Jennifer Lopez dictator tour.

(The Interview has plenty of foul language, sexual situations, gore and violence, so you do not want your children around when it’s playing.)

Fausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S. and Latin American politics, news and culture at Fausta’s Blog.