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Sunday, June 23, 2024
The Observer

'The Interview' Becomes a Must-See

EMILY DANAHER | The Observer
Leading up to its release, it was quite impossible to not hear about the movie “The Interview.” The parody movie centered on stars James Franco and Seth Rogan dealing with the task of assassinating Kim Jong-un, the supreme leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, colloquially known as North Korea.

With the well-publicized hacks of Sony Pictures Entertainment’s headquarters allegedly by the hacker group “Guardians of Peace,” more and more media outlets circled around the seemingly average movie, now surrounded by above-average controversy. With each leak of Sony officials' personal information and email conversations, and with each alleged threat from faceless cyber terrorists released to Sony to pull the movie from theaters, the hype surrounding “The Interview” continued to swell more and more. And as pressure continued to mount from both allegedly North Korean groups as well as people stateside for Sony to shut down the release of “The Interview,” the hype finally swelled so much that it reached a breaking point, a point where the once easily forgettable movie now became a must-see. Tweets from Hollywood stars Rob Lowe, Michael Moore and Ben Stiller — and even from former GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney — urged Sony Pictures to not “cave,” and continue with its plans to release the film.

And just like that, people rushed to see the film any way that they could. People who had been undoubtedly up to their lungs in “The Interview” coverage went to select theaters and purchased on demand copies to see what the fuss was all about. President Obama even took the time to commend Sony Pictures for releasing the film, and sentiments of “freedom of speech” seemed to deck the halls all throughout the holiday season.

Then people watched the movie, and it seemed, at best, about as average as it was initially thought to be. A bit above mediocre, but for someone like myself who focused on not working out over break, this movie was not funny enough to build up washboard abs from laughing. Yet, even as the reviews seemed to come pouring in on various media outlets, people could not stop going to watch the film. And it became clear this movie wasn’t about the movie. It was about a bit more.

The act of seeing the film was more than about getting a cheap laugh in. As surely one of the bigger headlines in the latter half of 2014, people had to be a part of entertainment history. And as a result, the movie industry seemingly took another step forward, with the major film’s release a success from both movie theater screenings and video on demand sales. However, even more than that, it was a loud, resounding message that as a democratic society, we can and will be able to do what we desire, that threats of retaliation were not enough to dictate our actions and censorship. As a society, people had to stand for something, or fall for the pressure from cyber terrorism. And the overwhelming decision was to take a stand, by plopping down, taking a seat to get a couple of chuckles and cheap laughs by watching yet another Franco and Rogan slightly-above-average film.