So why has its release become such a big deal? Well in the Western World (particularly in the US and UK), one of the most fundamental ideals of society is our Freedom of Speech. Though there are laws in place to curb expression that incites hatred (a clause that's mere existence proves highly controversial), when it comes to anything else, the freedom to express oneself is sanctified in law. On the one hand, this can mean speaking out against the people who govern you and being protected from persecution while you do it. On the other, it can mean speaking out against any majority, expressing contentious opinions or being able to provoke, aggravate and arouse debate in open forums. While the latter isn't always welcome, it is this freedom that democracy promotes and should therefore protect. So if a mediocre laddish American bro-movie wants to pretend to kill a living despot, then that is as protected as Fahrenheit 9/11, Elephant, The Passion Of The Christ or any film, play, artwork or book that any fundamentalist group has taken upon itself to picket in the past.
Larger cinema chains are still refusing to screen the film however. After the massacre by a gunman at a screening of The Dark Knight Rises a few years ago, it's easy to see why. After all, if there is any threat that the safety of the public cannot be guaranteed, any company would be uneasy with the prospect of deliberately putting its customers in harm's way. But the choice of independent screens to release the film has been welcomed by the government, media and studio alike (albeit reluctantly for the latter). But while the threat may put many people off seeing the film, the real irony of the whole crisis will be that people who may never have considered seeing the film before will now be seeking out a screening somewhere, in acts of solidarity against would-be terrorism. In the end, The Interview will probably earn considerably more than its projected box office and end up a sleeper hit for Sony, but only time will tell at what cost. But if there's one thing we can be sure about, it's that everyone will be given the chance now to watch the North Korean leader be fictionally killed whether we take it or not, because it is our Human Right to do so. And rightly so.