What the French thought about ‘The Interview’, Sony’s controversial film

Le Monde recently gave its opinion on The Interview, the Sony pictures film that has been at the centre of much recent controversy.

Sony took the decision last week not to release the film, after several cinemas refused to screen it, and it was revealed that North Korean hackers were behind the embarrassing slew of private emails from Sony employees released into the public domain.

After Barack Obama stepped in, and criticised Sony for giving in to pressure from North Korea, the film has been released online by Sony.

According to Le Monde, the film disappoints. Nevertheless, the expectation surrounding it was so high, this is no great surprise.

Seth Rogan has mastered the art of the bromance in past films, but this one feels like a rehash of the same formula that we’ve sat in front of many times before. Seth Rogan and James Franco, friends since childhood, present a television show that they discover Kim Jong-un loves. So, they decide to go an interview them. The omniscient CIA finds out about this, and slaps on them a mandate to kill Kim Jong-un while they’re at it.

Trouble awaits; one of the duo falls under Kim Jong-un’s charm, the other, under the charm of his Propaganda officer. However, they finally manage to destroy Kim Jong-un.

Le Monde is scathing about the quality of the film; the main characters are ‘idiotic’ and the toilet humour is repetitive. These are all prominent features of American comedy,  a formula that is starting to look tired, with jokes falling flat, and at best evoking boredom, at work, a suspicion of cynicism.

The film ends with the two men acclaimed by the CIA, and the whole of America, for having being able to destroy the tyrant Kim Jong-un. Before this, however, James Franco manages to accuse him of his crimes and lies, in a televised interview diffused to all of North Korea. This is supposed to show democracy at work. Le Monde is cynical about the fact that Sony must have known that this scene in particular would be controversial. It concludes by saying that the declarations that film makes about the importance of freedom of speech, and the ensuing supporting declarations made by Hollywood stars, politicians, even Barack Obama, once Sony announced it would release the film, are somewhat troubling.

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