Monday, 12 January 2015

Thoughts on The Interview

Did you see this to protect freedom of expression?
I finally watched The Interview starring Seth Rogen and James Franco, curious to see what all the fuss was about, that led to threats of terrorist attacks by a group called Guardians of Peace if the movie was released on Christmas Day.

The story, about a TV host who goes to the Hermit Kingdom to interview (and assassinate) the youngest and most elusive leader, Kim Jong-un.

Seth Rogan's and James Franco's characters go to North Korea
What happens is a series of outrageous, racist or sexist jokes or incidents that can only be dreamed up by a bunch of men who are still stuck in their prepubescent period.

It takes the premise of what little people know about North Korea and creates a preposterous plot, with really bad gags and even worse, over-the-top violent scenes that make viewers wonder if they're supposed to be funny or not.

The Interview, as some critics have said, should never have been made. It's just so improbable and heinous that it's shocking that it was even given the green light.

While there has been much talk about how this movie has impacted US-North Korean relations in reality, even more enlightening is that the comedy was filmed in Vancouver.

Rogan and his friend Evan Goldberg made the film with their production company Point Grey Pictures, after their high school, Point Grey Secondary School where the two met.

Downtown Vancouver doubles as New York in the movie
There are scenes of the exterior of the Vancouver Art Gallery, and the downtown area doubling as New York (not). There's also a scene in a newsroom, which is actually the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's office, and there are lots of wilderness scenery with British Columbia trying to be the desolate areas of north eastern China and North Korea.

Attention over the movie has quickly faded since the initial burst of interest on December 25, which makes one wonder if The Interview would have garnered any kind of attention if there were never any threats in the first place.

And hopefully it will fade further in the distance as a very expensive lesson for Sony Pictures, Rogan, Goldberg and Franco to learn.

Randall Park who plays the Supreme Leader, said that when he got the part, he ran it by his immigrant South Korean parents, who he says, thought the premise of the film was hilarious.


Maybe it's a Hollywood thing...

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