In light of the recent controversy, which even had the President weighing in, The Interview has been on the tips of everyone’s tongue. Now that the film has been given a limited release in theatres, and streaming online, the conversation can finally turn towards the actual merits of the film itself. Directed by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, The Interview is a satirical tale about a TV journalist, the egomaniacal Dave Skylark (James Franco), and his best friend/producer, Aaron Rapaport (Seth Rogen), who are granted a rare opportunity to interview North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un (Randall Park).
Although their talk show receives high ratings, the men themselves get very little respect within the industry. For Skylark and Rapaport, this interview is their one opportunity to gain some semblance of legitimacy. Of course their visions of grandeur take an unexpected turn when the CIA, represented by Agent Lacey (Lizzy Caplan), wants to use the exclusive meeting to get rid of the dictator once and for all.
As one can imagine, hilarity ensues as the two men are pretty much bumbling idiots in a foreign land. Skylark is so concerned with being beloved that he attempts to befriend Kim Jong-un through margaritas, basketball, and all sorts of crazy antics. Skylark’s time with the dictator inadvertently cause a schism in his friendship with Rapaport, who has not only taken his mission seriously, but has also fallen for a North Korean military officer named Sook (Diana Bang).
Maintaining an air of silliness throughout, The Interview takes great pleasure in portraying Kim Jong-un as this mythical, god-like figure who has some serious daddy issues and is a closet fan of Katy Perry’s music. Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg keep things simple in terms of the direction. Despite the patriotic symbolism that the Sony hack has inadvertently thrust on the film, Rogen and Goldberg are not going for anything remotely serious or in-depth. The film knows it is being very ridiculous and revels in it.
As straightforward as the direction might be, The Interview definitely has a sense of style from a visual perspective. Much of the praise must go to the cinematography of Brandon Trost who brings some unique lighting schemes to the interior of Kim Jong-un’s palace. He utilizes the Canadian mountains and landscapes, which substitutes for North Korea in the film, to convey the feeling of isolation that surrounds Kim Jong-un in the film’s climax. The fantastic score from Henry Jackman also helps to keep the tone light.
The Interview is a superb comedy that is entertaining without taking itself too seriously. Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg know the premise is preposterous and have a good time simply being ridiculous.
© thevoid99 2014
While I was not a fan of The Interview, I’m glad that you singled out Brandon Trost’s cinematography. He’s one of the best DoP’s working that focuses mostly on genre work and elevates it because of his visuals. I loved the hazy and distorted lens work throughout Jong-un’s death fortress and the Cold War / Bond vibe during the climax. His work here, Neighbors earlier this year, and with Rob Zombie (on Lords of Salem and Halloween II) is superb stuff.
I know good photography when I see one as I really thought the photography was really damn good. I don’t take the film seriously as I knew what it wanted to be and I got it.
Good review. It’s not a great movie, but it’s still a funny one. All controversy aside.
Thanks. I just think it’s a funny movie that never should’ve been taken seriously to begin with.
Also had a good time watching this one.
It’s a fun film. I love it.
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