The Dictator (2012) – Not Letting Anyone Off the Hook
Sasha Baron Cohen strikes again with his latest movie – The Dictator. Unlike in earlier works, this time he has replaced the real people by a fine cast of real actresses and actors – Ben Kingsley, Anna Faris, Jason Mantzoukas etc. The same film-making crew that collaborated with Sasha Baron Cohen on his first film is present and therefore The Dictator is very close to “Borat” in tone and originality. The laugh starts before the movie has even begun, because of the “in memory of Kim Jong-il” dedication and if you like previous Baron Cohen’s works, it might be one of the best comedies you have ever watched.
This comedy is by turns teasing, silly, tedious, heretical, hysterical and sophisticated story about the power-mad Admiral General Haffaz Aladeen and the way he loses his beard, bearings and heart in NYC. The story starts with hilarious snapshots of the general’s life including sleeping with famous females, winning, of course fixed, athletic contests etc. The movie follows the heroic story of this interesting oppressing general who risks his life to ensure something like democracy would never come to his loving country.
As we have expected it to be, the Dictator is the movie that does not let anyone off the hook, including well-intentioned liberals. Sasha Baron Cohen comes right out and says “in your face” things perhaps many people think but would not dare to point out in polite conversation we are used to have. Even though it is the most conventionally structured movie Baron Cohen ever made (a romcom), it is perhaps his funniest work.