Despite its new status as the must-see-movie-of-the-year-for-‘Murikans-loving-‘Murikuh, The Interview received a tepid critical response from American viewers. But people in China? They love it, especially the part where Seth Rogen and James Franco blow up Kim Jong-Un.
According to the New York Times, more than 300,000 Chinese people had seen The Interview by the middle of Friday, with most of those viewers pirating the movie. On popular movie review site Douban, the film received a score of 7.7/10 from nearly 10,000 viewers, with one writing: “Perfect, the greatest film in history, all hail Sony.”
Another wrote that Rogen and Franco’s “ability to amuse is out of this galaxy,” which is high praise for poop and pee jokes.
The Times noted that much of the praise of The Interview had little to do with the actual comedic value of the movie itself (though, then again, this is the country where a pun involving an alpaca became a dangerous piece of political satire). Rather, Chinese netizens seem to like it because it mocks North Korea — and, by extension, their own authoritarian government:
Although Beijing is Pyongyang’s only significant ally on the world stage, many ordinary Chinese have mixed feelings about their government’s relationship with North Korea, which has been called as close as “lips and teeth.” Some have come to see a reflection of their own condition in North Korea’s poverty, repressiveness and over-the-top propaganda. Online, some commentators have begun to refer to the North Korean leader as “Fatty Kim the 3rd.”
In a nod to China’s authoritarian side, one user wrote, “If we made a comedy that said ‘Assassinate Mao,’ the result would be unimaginable. Don’t ‘like’ my post or I’ll get detained.”
Naturally, state-sponsored press outlets panned The Interview, decrying it as a Western display of “senseless cultural arrogance,” even criticizing Rogen and Franco for presenting a distorted view of North Korea.
[Image via Sony]
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