<Review by: Sailesh Ghelani>
Directed by Evan Goldberg & Seth Rogen. Starring James Franco, Seth Rogen, Lizzy Caplan, Randall Park, Diana Bang, Timothy C Simons
Running Time: 1 hour 52 minutes.
Here’s a film that was decried by North Korea and not allowed a theatrical release due to fear of more repercussions. It actually shows America in more poor light than it does N Korea.
James Franco is a Dave Skylark, host of the popular and slightly vile talk show Skylark Tonight where celebs reveal their sexuality and the truth about their hairlines. Dave’s good friend and producer Aaron (Seth Rogen) wants to be more ‘serious’ and when they get the opporunity to interview ‘super fan’ Kim Jong Un, the supereme leader of North Korea, they jump at it. But the CIA has other plans for them, which involves assassinati. They get Dave and Aaron to agree by ‘honeypoting’ – using sexy CIA Agent Lacey (Lizzy Caplan) – to get them to take the mission though it appears on many occasions that ‘honeydicking’ would have been more appropriate!
James Franco’s over-the-top, sometimes camp, sometimes Jim-Carey-esque performance manages to pull through all of the slapstick humour and his awesome chemistry with Seth Rogen lifts this somewhat lacklustry and ludicrous film up several notches.
Randall Park as the ‘misunderstood tyrant’ leader Kim Jong Un plays it so subtly and innocently that you are genuinely moved for the man who supposedly starves his people. All that pressure and his father’s lack of compassion has driven him to ‘gay martinis’ and Katy Perry songs.
The Interview never devolves into a farce. It stays crisp and focused with some hilarious scenes perfectly pulled off by the comic talent of the lead duo. The supporting cast are all bang on too.
It didn’t warrant all the attention it got, but as it is, The Interview is a well-made piece of slapstick comedy that is also a comment on the state of American reality TV, American ‘interventions’ that don’t always work out and how the world thinks that their version of ‘democracy’ is always right for everyone. In that sense, The Interview is eminently insightful and funny as well.
1) Director’s Commentary
You can choose to turn the director’s commentary on or off during the movie.
2) Naked & Afraid: Franco & Rogen
This obvious promo for the film and their famous comedic chemistry, shows James Franco and Seth Rogen taking part in the Discovery Channel’s programme Naked & Afraid, where contestants are left out in the wilderness, naked, to fend for themselves for 21 days. Franco and Rogen drink ‘poo water’, cuddle in the cold night and offer sexual favours to the cameraman in return for a lighter in this very funny but obviously not real show (or was it?). Watching them is entertaining and engaging and they’re certainly worthy of making more films together if they can keep the magic alive.
DVD Courtesy Sony DADC