A libertarian review of “The Interview”

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This contains spoilers for the movie.

The Interview is plain and simple a work of propaganda. It was made to make the watcher sympathize with the creators’ political agenda.

And this propaganda was brilliantly done and I loved it. The message behind the movie is something I can absolutely get behind: change will only happen if the people demand it. The problem in North Korea is that the people are totally cut off from the outside world; they have no idea that anything can be different. They only know what the government tells them. This movie, if it is able be smuggled into North Korea, can make people begin to question their leaders and government.

Although I was intrigued after seeing a preview of the movie, I decided to “boycott” the movie after all of the nonsense surrounding the hacking of Sony. Over this past weekend, though, I listened to the January 22nd episode of The Tom Woods Show in which Woods interviewed Michael Malice about North Korea. During the course of their conversation, Malice said that he was told that he should watch The Interview despite objections similar to mine. He watched it and changed his mind about it, supporting its message.

The summary of the movie:

James Franco’s character, Dave Skylark, hosts a popular talk show that Seth Rogan’s character, Aaron Rapoport, produces. They discover that Kim Jung-un is a fan of the show, so they decide to request an interview with him. To their surprise, North Korea grants it but demands that they travel to North Korea for the filming where they will control every aspect of the interview including the questions. They agree to the terms but are intercepted before they make their trip by the CIA. The CIA has a plan for a coup, so they ask Skylark to assassinate Kim Jung-un with a ricin-laced strip when the two shake hands.

Skylark and Rapoport travel to North Korea but the plan goes awry when Skylark develops a liking for Kim after spending time together. Rapoport warns him that he’s being manipulated, but Skylark refuses to listen and decides to abandon the assassination plot. Meanwhile, one of the officials close to Kim, Sook Yung Park, develops a relationship with Rapoport and reveals that she despises the way the government treats their people. After realizing he had been duped by Kim, Skylark storms back to Rapoport to tell him that he now sees the true, evil Kim Jung-un.

Not knowing that the defected North Korean official is in the room, his ranting reveals the assassination plot. In a moment of brilliance that I’m sure went over most of the audience’s heads, Sook pleads with the two men not to assassinate Kim Jung-un. The first reason is that the United States has a terrible history of foreign policy and she fears that allowing them to call the shots would only make things worse for her country. The second reason is that if they did kill Kim Jung-un, they would simply put another leader in his place and business would carry on as usual. It’s not the leader that needs changing; it’s the people’s minds that need to be opened. Knowing that all of North Korea would be watching, they ditch the ricin plan and go ahead with the interview—but with their own questions in mind to show that Kim Jung-un isn’t the omnipotent leader he wants his subjects to believe he is.

Skylark begins his interview with the supplied questions and then tries to grill Kim on questions about his people’s hunger. When Kim begins to get the upper hand in the debate, Skylark brings up some issues Kim had revealed to him privately about his father, causing him to weep. Kim even audibly soils his pants, triggering the North Korea people to question Kim’s credibility since they were taught that he didn’t have a “butthole.” The people awaken and revolution brings about long-awaited change to North Korea.

This simple questioning is what needs to happen. Yet as of now, there is no questioning. North Koreans have been brainwashed and oppressed for generations. When Kim Jung-un threatens to destroy the rest of the world with nuclear weapons, everyone laughs. But in North Korea, the people are told that the rest of the world gives in to their government’s demands because of their great power and influence. This feeling of wonder and awe (and fear) by the North Koreans allows the government to maintain its power. There is no way that a government could hold such control over its people if even a few decided to test them.

The movie is about two men helping people to help themselves. You cannot impose on people a system that you want despite that being the recurring foreign policy of the United States. Although the United States government was involved in the plot of the movie, it was shown that their track record in such matters was dismal and their plan was ultimately rejected. The best you can do is to try to show them truth so that they can make an informed decision on what they want for themselves. That’s what Skylark and Rapoport did.

And oh yes, it’s absolutely hilarious. It had me laughing the whole time.

Give it a watch and allow the message to sink in.