“The Interview” controversy


Disclaimer: What follows are specific plot details of “The Interview”. The article contains spoilers regarding the movie. Do not read this article if you have not watched the movie yet, and wish to in the future.

Lights! Camera! War? In late 2014, the movie “The Interview” reached worldwide notability when the North Korean government voiced their outrage over the making of the movie.

The movie features the comedic duo, James Franco and Seth Rogen as two journalists who secure an interview with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un. Franco and Rogen’s characters are then recruited by the CIA to assassinate the dictator.

Franco stars as Dave Skylark, a talk-show host, and Rogen stars as Aaron Rapoport, Skylark’s producer. Kim Jong-un is played by Randall Park.

“In the film, Dave Skylark is warmly received by Kim. Skylark sympathizes with Kim at first, but changes his mind after discovering a fake grocery store. In fact, there are no fake grocery stores in North Korea, but the fake store represents something very real,” Lee Han-byeol said to the Pulitzer prize-winning Guardian newspaper. “The North Korean government never allows foreigners to see the miserable reality of some North Korean residents. They are guided to the spots designated as ‘good places’ for publicizing North Korea as a ‘wonderful country.’”

Although the movie is a comedy, it manages to highlight current issues occurring in North Korea, such as starvation and poverty.

“Since it’s a comedy, I don’t think the movie will have accurate representations of real life in North Korea. As always, Hollywood will find their ways to change our perceptions for the sake of the plot and keeping us interested,” freshman Sydney Kinzy said.

On Nov. 24, Sony Pictures Entertainment was hacked by a group that identified themselves as the “Guardians of Peace.” The group, speculated as to having relations with North Korea, released personal information of employees at Sony and other things regarding the company.

“To be honest, I don’t know if North Korea is behind the attacks. I think we don’t have enough information to point fingers at anyone. For all we know, it could be just an American hacker messing with Sony for any old reason,” Kinzy said.

Although the film had garnered negative reactions, it was still released to the public, albeit through a few movie theaters throughout the United States. People were also able to rent the movie online. The Interview grossed $1 million on its opening day.

“People are overreacting. It’s a movie made to make people laugh and gain a profit,” freshman Sophie Wojdylo said.

The movie was originally set to be released on Oct. 10 but ended up having a limited release on Dec. 25. There was never an official reason as to why the movie had a late release, but it is suspected that the movie was pushed back due to the negative response it garnered when Sony announced the movie.

“It would’ve been a better idea to have a fictional dictator because North Korea probably wouldn’t have taken it so personally but it [The Interview] wouldn’t have been as memorable,” Wojdylo said.

Displeased with the movie, the North Korean government called the film a “wanton act of terror.” A spokesman of North Korea also said the U.S government will face a “stern” and “merciless” retaliation.

“I’m sure that The Interview strained the relationship between the U.S. and North Korea, but I don’t think this is the last straw,” Kinzy said. “We got away with only threats and warnings from them. I think the breaking point between us is still yet to come.”