The Interview


Two minds... one truth


Jurassic Mark

SCORE: 3 Stars

Movies about smart people are invariably more interesting than movies about stupid people. Comedies occasionally break this rule (including most of the Peter Seller's library). The Interview aims for the crowd who enjoy films like The Usual Suspects. The Interview fails to achieve the same level of the aforementioned film, but, presents a complex plot, superb dialog, two great performances and a hypnotic musical score.

In a recent review (The Treasure of Alpheus Winterborn), I stated that uber film critic Roger Ebert rarely speaks badly of actors. After watching the Interview, I think I know why. One of my major problems with The Matrix was the performance of our main baddy: Agent Smith (Hugo Weaving). I thought Mr. Weaving's delivery was laughable. His similar appearance to the other Matrix agents led me to believe he was cast more for his visual "look" than any acting ability he might have.

Regarding his acting ability, I couldn't have been further from the truth. Weaving was born in Nigeria in 1960, and moved to Australia in 1976. In the Interview, he portrays an Aussie citizen accused of stealing a car (and perhaps more). Weaving is absolutely brilliant. I never once thought of his dreadfully miscast role in The Matrix. Weaving won both the Australian Film Institute and Montreal World Film Festival awards for Best Actor.

And, since we have a great performance from a suspect, we need a great performance from a cop. The Interview doesn't disappoint, with Tony Martin portraying a policeman who knows the game and intellectually matches Weaving.

With all this praise, why only three stars? I guess the best way to answer that question is to say that The Interview isn't completely plausible. To comment further would destroy the plot. I don't want to do that because I believe The Interview is a film worth seeing.

My only other complaint is the stylistic approach of director Craig Monahan. I wished for a documentary approach rather than tilted camera angles and unrealistic sets. David Hirschfelder's wonderful piano score (reminiscent of The Usual Suspects) provides plenty of atmosphere to carry us dramatically from scene to scene.

The Interview is complex because we don't always understand the conscious choices made by the primary characters. In the end, however, it's hard to ascertain what motivates cops and criminals. The Interview succeeds best when it demonstrates that suspects can have their rights stripped by police and that police can have their hands tied by red tape.