The Interview (1998) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

There's good news and bad news about this film. 

The bad news is that not many of you will be patient enough to watch it. It's basically a policeman interrogating a murder suspect for two hours, and that's not everyone's recipe for entertainment.

The good news is that if you get hooked on it, you'll like it a lot. I didn't much care for the first twenty minutes and was getting ready to FF for some nudity, but when I realized the complexity of what was happening, I was hooked.

The police barge into a man's apartment at five o'clock in the morning and drag him down to the station house, not informing him of the reason. When their interrogation begins, they seem to be asking him questions about a stolen car. Slowly, the film reveals what is really going on, and what they are really asking him about. 


Through the entire film, the director plays a game with the audience, swinging us back and forth in our appraisal of the situation. 

He's an innocent man, being run through a Kafkaesque wringer by some smug, brutal cops without a grain of evidence on a charge too trivial to justify this brutal treatment. Wait a minute, it does sound like he took the car. What's this, now he's confessing to a string of homicides. Huh? Now he's asking for a higher ranking officer, to complain that he was brutalized into confessing. Was he? Or was he really in control of the process completely? Did he deliberately goad the detectives into making errors? You're not sure.

While the filmmaker is manipulating our impression of the accused, he is doing the same thing with the accuser. He's a brutal thug. He's a good cop. No, he's being investigated by internal affairs. Wait a minute, internal affairs itself seems to be corrupt ....

Where is all this leading?

It's a small budget Australian film which relies entirely on the skill of the script, the director, and the actors to maintain the taut atmosphere. The biggest name in it is Hugo Weaving, the senior anthropomorphic machine from "The Matrix", as the accused.

And it has quite a good ending for you, if you're the type of person who doesn't like to be spoon-fed every detail. 

Subtle, intelligent, chilling. If the general description doesn't put you off, you'll probably love it. 

The Critics Vote

  • Berardinelli 3.5/4.

The People Vote ...

  • With their votes ... IMDB summary: IMDb voters score it a stratospheric 8.0. 
IMDb guideline: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence, about like three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, about like two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, about like two stars from the critics. Films under five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film, equivalent to about one and a half stars from the critics or less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.

Based on this description, this is a very strong C+. A brilliant, different little film that will be treasured by devotees, but will prove not to be your cup of tea if you are a mainstream viewers.

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