“The Interview” presents a unique opportunity to be daring

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Written By Reilly Kneedler

At any minute I thoroughly expect Kim Jong Un to come break down my door, ready to blow me away. I can say this with relative certainty because I have seen “The Interview.”

It has been the talk of the world at large for the last few weeks; the plot, characters and the circumstances surrounding its release have evoked wild accusations and international incidents.

It began with an idea fostered by Seth Rogan, Evan Goldberg and Dan Sterling to create a movie, backed by Sony, revolving around a plot at assassinate North Korea’s supreme leader Kim Jong Un.

Unsurprisingly, the North Korean government did not take well to that story line. In the weeks leading up to its scheduled release date, Sony’s computer infrastructure was hacked, North Korea’s entire private intranet was shut down for over nine hours, and movie theaters were threatened 9/11 style to not show the film on its planned release date, Dec. 25. While neither government has yet to claim responsibility for the attacks, the reality is that there are some entities that do not want the the American public to view the film.

Sony has recalled some of its initial hesitation and will allow “The Interview” to be let out into the world. At this point, there are a few independent theaters that are planning on showing it Christmas Day, it is also available on a handful of websites for a small fee.

Take the Plunge

As one of the first that have taken the plunge and viewed the movie, I can say that with confidence that clicking play for the first time feels like so much more than preparing to watch the latest comedy to hit the entertainment world.

It’s easy to feel like a kid going behind mom’s back for a taste of the pie on the window sill. There are a few uneasy feelings about what big bad Kim might do if he catches you watching “The Interview” as an ignorant American, but the experience is also a bit freeing. Taking in the media storm that has been presented to the American public lately just makes the idea of watching the movie even more compelling. Finally sitting down to watch James Franco and Seth Rogan plot to take out a ruthless dictator just feels right. There are really powerful undertones involved in the simple act of watching “The Interview.”

How dare some hacker (North Korean or otherwise) try to scare me into not watching a movie?

If 9/11 taught us anything, then wouldn’t it be not to be frightened into negotiating with those who seek to instill terror?

Even President Obama called Sony’s recall a “mistake,” so why not just hit play?

All these questions and more bustled through my head as I set out to watch it, but the single greatest driving force was simply curiosity: What is all the fuss about?

Comedy for Comedy’s Sake

However, all grand themes and mentalities aside, “The Interview” is just absolutely, poignantly funny. One has to imagine that the creators didn’t set out to start an international dialogue about the state of North Korea, they were just trying to make a funny movie. That idea shines through brilliantly; the plot is all over the place, the humor is crude and abrasive, and it is offensive beyond comprehension. Just five minutes into the opening scene and any North Koreans that did happen to see it were likely blanching in utter disbelief.

But it takes, somewhat deserved, jabs at American society as well. The film, at its core, really seems to have set out to offend everyone watching to some degree and to that end, it was a beautiful success.

I rented it on YouTube through Sony’s channel for $5.99. It was absolutely worth it, mainly for the opportunity to further the conversation on freedom, digital terrorism and “The Interview” in general, but the hilarity was a welcomed bonus. It officially comes out today for Christmas, so buy it, rent it or take the plunge and go see it in the theaters, but don’t be afraid to join the conversation.

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