Review: ‘The Interview’

The film “The Interview” shines light on the importance of living in the moment and the constant changes that life brings. The fifth short film written, produced and directed by Nate Duncan, it debuted at the Stony Brook Film Festival on Thursday.

It stars Duncan as Michael, whose older sister tragically died during their childhood.

Michael has chosen money over happiness, and success over love. He has allowed fear to control his life past the point of living happily.

On an ordinary day, on his way to a job interview, he stops for coffee and his life changes forever.

Later, at his interview, the opening moments are muddled with sexism. He says he isn’t intimidated by the interviewer because she is a woman, but claims his mother is his biggest inspiration. Unbeknownst to Michael, this rocky interview is more important than it seems.

Flashbacks throughout the film show the mix of pain and happiness in Michael’s life. Part of the pain is caused by ill fate and other parts by poor choices, but all of the guilt is carried on Michael’s shoulders, weighing him down. He can remember happier times, but is struggling to find them in his adult life — a relatable feeling. The lack of love in his life creates powerful feelings for both Michael and viewers of the film as he struggles to find real emotion and follow love, not money; your heart yearns for him to find more purpose in life.

While viewers were unsure of the plot in the beginning, a collective gasp filled the Staller Center when the truth was revealed. 

As Michael leaves his interview, and is sitting in the lobby waiting for his results, he is joined by a fearful-looking older gentleman and a younger man who asks the others, “How did it go?” The emotions of Michael and the man who was interviewed before him are obvious in their eyes, and while nothing is said, their fear is felt by the viewer.

The film shows the importance of every moment. Life can lead you anywhere or end at any moment. Sitting in the theater, viewers might feel a push to call their grandmothers, hug their friends, or pray with hope to love and be loved for every moment they have. 

“I wanted to do something that left the audience thinking in a positive manner,” Duncan said. “And also that formed a little bit of reflection.” 

Duncan included what he called “four breadcrumbs” throughout the film, hinting at the ending, which is shocking and simultaneously connects the film together in a concise manner. At the same time audience members will feel relief for Michael, something refreshing and hard to find in many other films.

Duncan has accomplished his goal of prompting viewers to reflect on life, love and past decisions. “The Interview” is a reminder that is needed in a world of social media and physical disconnect to love and to live with a single purpose — happiness.

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