The Dictator

The Dictator

Cast: Sacha Baron Cohen, Anna Faris, Jason Mandzoukas, Ben Kingsley

Director: Larry Charles



          This adventure packed comedy film brings us the story of a dictator known as Admiral-General Aladeen (Sacha Baron Cohen), the ruler of a fictional country called “The Republic of Wadiya”.

After reports of developing Nuclear energy, General Aladeen travels to the UN headquarters in New York City for his address to the council of the UN in order to avoid military intervention. There, he ends up being kidnapped by his uncle Tamir (Ben Kingsley) and having his notable beard forcefully shaven. The story follows Aladeen’s journey from a commoner to his redemption as the supreme ruler of Wadiya through the help of his old accomplice, “Nuclear” Nadal (Jason Mandzoukas). In between, he meets the love of his life, Zoey (Anna Faris), whom he ends up marrying at the end of the film.

Being a comedy film, there is no surprise in the fact that the jokes come thick and fast, making the audience chuckle every now and then. Despite that, Sacha Boren Cohen and Larry Charles have been heavily criticized by fans all around the world due to the nature of the jokes. The decrepit plot is a combination of humour ranging from masturbation to a misunderstanding over the role of a rape centre. In between, Aladeen can be heard making racial, sexist and homophobic comments more than quite often.

Subtle, it isn’t. Compared to Sacha’s other films such as Borat, the satirical content is far lower than his usual standards. The plot basically aims to display a framework of silliness through Sacha’s character. Arguably, the film’s most successful attempt at true satire is when Aladeen makes a sardonic speech to a gathering of politicians and diplomats from all around the world, where he insists that America should cease to follow democracy and in turn switch to dictatorship, he follows this up by mentioning a list of satirical things that they would thus avoid, mostly relating to basic justice and equality rights.

The story also reflects upon Aladeen’s love life, most notably when he meets Zoey, a feminist vegetarian who comes to his rescue after he is sacked of his throne. Although despising Zoey initially, Aladeen eventually ends up falling in love with her. She also plays a big part in changing Aladeen’s personality and thoughts, making him less of a maniac than he was at the beginning.

Despite the criticism it received because of its dark humour, the 83-minute long movie managed to attract a large number of people to cinemas. Relentlessly being immature, the film may either offend you from the very beginning till the end or it may just fulfil your comedy needs that you have been craving since forever! Either way, it’s one that will keep you glued to your seats till the very end, enabling you to experience mixed range of emotions.

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