Why Is Kim Jong Un So Afraid of "The Interview"

5853 People Viewed - about 43 months ago Culture

Well, I know you’re all upset about the news that Sony canceled “The Interview” release now. We all do. But before you go on parades, you should know why Kim Jong Un or North Korea being so upset about this comedy first.

Just in case, know this: “The Interview” depicts the film depicts James Franco and Seth Rogen as Americans who gets sent to North Korea to assassinate Kim Jong-un, the country's dictator.

And of course North Korea wasn’t happy about the film. Back in June, a spokesman for the North Korean government criticized the movie, saying that "The act of making and screening such a movie that portrays an attack on our top leadership . . . is a most wanton act of terror and act of war, and is absolutely intolerable."

But what exactly is the attack on the country's top leadership?

That’s the point which can explain why Kim Jong Un care so much about this movie. With the movie's release pulled, not a lot of people will be able to see how the movie depicts Kim Jong-un or his fate. Don’t worry, I can share what happens -- and what all the fuss is about. Spoilers ensue.

His General Depiction

Kim Jong-un is played by Randall Park in a hilarious and completely irreverent performance. He's portrayed as a man with cold, despotic tendencies, but a soft spot for certain things, which is where the comedy comes in.

He's a superfan of Dave Skylark, Franco's journalist character, which is how Skylark lands the gig interviewing him in the first place (the CIA intervenes with the assassination plot).

When Franco and Rogen's characters get to North Korea, Kim Jong-un reacts like a giggling fanboy upon meeting Skylark, then takes him for a day of fun in his compound, where he reveals a love of Katy Perry and margaritas. It's not necessarily flattering, but that's what makes it funny.

Meanwhile, his abuses of North Korea are verbally referenced, not shown (save for a fake grocery store meant to make the country look robust).

The Death Scene

The way Skylark is originally supposed to kill Kim Jong-un is with a ricin strip applied to his hand during a handshake. It's thwarted when Skylark changes his mind after spending so much time with Kim Jong-un, and he thinks they're friends.

When the interview finally goes down, Skylark realizes the error of his ways and then tries to take down Kim Jong-un in another way: by making him cry and showing him as weak so his own people won't see him as a god anymore.

It works, and Kim Jong-un cries on air, but just when you think, "oh, they don't even kill this guy in the movie at all," the violence starts.

He shoots Skylark, who's wearing a vest, and as Skylark, his producer (Rogen), and a North Korean ally flee the compound, they "borrow" Kim Jong-un's tank. As Kim Jong-un, in a helicopter, prepares to fire at the group in the tank and simultaneously launch nuclear weapons at the rest of the world, Skylark prevails and fires from the tank, blowing up the dictator and his helicopter.

What’s more, for the film-mad North Korean audiences, where cinemas serve as the central point for nearly every community, there is no distinction between the screen and reality.

So perhaps the reaction to “The Interview” really is an expression of fear from the North Korean authorities, who believe that as more and more outside influences trickle into North Korea in the form of DVDs, radio transmissions and even mobile phone signals, the picture of their perfect state will gradually begin to be eroded.

And since “The Interview” tries to paint Kim Jong-un and his dynasty as fallible, that is something worth fighting in the strongest possible terms.

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