By Emily Sierra Poertner
On Dec. 25, after several months of delay, Sony Pictures released The Interview, a comedy starring Seth Rogan and James Franco. Dave Skylark, played by Franco, and Aaron Rapoport, played by Seth Rogan, run a celebrity gossip show that is a joke to their peers. Dedicated to becoming a serious news broadcast, they arrange an interview with the world’s most reclusive dictator, Kim Jun-Un, played by Randall Park. During their trip, the two journalists become involved in a CIA attempt to assassinate the dictator.
The slapstick humor is certainly geared towards a college-aged audience. While the movie addresses many known problems faced by North Korean civilians such as hunger, poverty, and extreme state control, Dave Skylark approaches it “the American way,” with more violence. While it won’t be renowned as a great satire, the movie does portray an America immune from political turmoil that finds celebrity news more important, and of course the only option to resolving a problem is violence.
The Interview’s release followed several months of delays. During the summer the North Korean government announced their disapproval of the movie due to depiction of North Korea and the assassination of their leader. They said that action would be taken against the United States if the movie was released.
Several months later Sony Pictures was hacked by a group calling themselves the “Guardians of Peace”. Several of Sony’s movies that were in production were released, most notably “Annie” and “Fury”. More importantly, sensitive information about employees, like social security numbers, were also dumped on the internet. The FBI attributed the hack to the North Korean government, but not everyone was convinced that it was. Many people, including the California-based cybersecurity company Norse Corp., believe a former Sony employee was more likely behind the attack. And despite their previous threats, North Korea denies any association with the hacks.
Many large movie theaters refused to show The Interview, but a few hundred independent theaters did show the movie. The Interview is currently Sony’s number one online movie making $31 million as of January 6.