‘The Interview’ review
By Mercedes Deutscher, Staff Writer
By now, you have no doubt heard about The Interview, a controversial comedy starring James Franco and Seth Rogen. Directed by Rogen and Evan Goldberg, the film tells the fictional story of celebrity tele-journalist, Dave Skylark (Franco), and his producer, Aaron Rapaport (Rogen), who are longing for more serious stories than Hollywood gossip.
The two men discover that Kim Jong-un (Randall Park), the supreme leader of North Korea, is a fan of their show and would like to have an interview with Skylark. They arrange to fly to North Korea to conduct this interview, but, prior to their departure, the two are placed on a mission by the CIA to assassinate the leader.
The film’s style relies on dark and vulgar humour, satire, and stereotyping. While funny through most of the movie, it becomes rather excessive towards the end. As well, very little of the movie’s comedy can be considered original, and follows suit of most comedies produced in the past decade.
That is not to say that The Interview leaves viewers unfulfilled. When I left the theatre, I couldn’t stop thinking about North Korea and its regime. The producers do a good job of weaving stories from the accounts of former North Korean residents with comedy, making the film more approachable than either a slapstick comedy or a documentary.
Rogen mostly portrays his character believably, yet at times it was hard to draw the line between Rogen’s personality and that of his character. Overall, a good performance by Rogen, but not his finest work as an actor.
Lizzy Caplan, who plays Agent Lacey, gives a rather disappointing performance, as her character seems to be played in a dull fashion, and her performance is easy to forget.
On the other side of the spectrum, both Franco and Park do memorable portrayals of Skylark and Kim Jong-un. Both actors bring hilarity into every scene they are in, especially together. These two actors have some great on-screen chemistry, and it wouldn’t be hard to see this dynamic duo as best friends.
North Korea’s top propagandist, Sook, is played by Diana Bang, and of all the supporting characters in the film, she is my favourite. Bang balances acting serious in times of hilarity well and does an excellent job of portraying her character without falling into stereotype.
The Interview has some great cinematography, especially the wide and broad shots that really help maximize the action, particularly towards the climax of the story.
In retrospect, I enjoyed the film, yet I found that its publicity added more to the movie than it deserved, and without said publicity, the film may have soon been forgotten. Still, if you want a couple hours of cheap laughs while acting particularly patriotic, The Interview is a good way to pass the time.