[Spoilers ahead. Proceed accordingly.]
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.
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.