Sacha Baron Cohen’s latest creation comes in the form of the painfully funny, motion picture, “The Dictator”. Upon entering the cinema I had few expectations, not a keen admirer of his past works I was none too excited for what was in store for me. However I was pleasantly surprised. The Dictator, directed by Larry Charles is quite frankly hilarious. It is also outrageous and crude, and extremely offensive.
Unlike Bruno and Borat, “The Dictator” is more sculpted. It is graced with a protagonist, love, relationships and feelings, oh and a plot, as obscure as it may be. The storyline is bumpy yet flowing and culminates in an anticipated climax. The audience follows General Admiral Haffaz Alladeen of the North African nation of Wadiya, as he works closely with previously axed nuclear weapons expert, nuclear Nadal Jason Mantzoukas to regain his status as “Supreme Emperor”. This is all deemed necessary because upon his arrival in America, which Alladeen exclaims to be the “birth place of aids”, he is betrayed by his first in command Tahir who is played by Ben Kingsley. Alladeen is striped by all that makes him Supreme Emperor and hastily thrown to the streets of Manhattan and replaced by a very apt body double. It is here that he is picked up by Zoey, a feminist, organic loving, extreme activist that takes him under her wing. It is with Zoey that a distinct and bashful relationship begins to bloom. The film casually follows this unlikely yet thickening romance as well as Alladeen’s efforts to regain his title and spread oppression and the dream of a dictatorship throughout America.
The digs and jokes come hard and fast and it seems no one escapes some form of stereotypical abuse. From start to finish there isn’t a dull moment and the cast successfully keep the audience entertained. Particular highlights include when Zoey rewards Alladeen by teaching him how to masturbate for the first time, safely locked away on his own, this scene had not only me but the entire audience in convulsions of laughter. Another memorable and unique moment sees Alladeen and Nadal take part in a rather unforgettable helicopter ride with two unsuspecting Americans. Along with these stand out moments it is the classic one liners that keep this film alive, quick and so obscene that you will not be disappointed. For instance when Alladeen’s head of security suggests that he visit the empire state building before “one of his cousins takes it down.” An outstanding aspect and personal favourite of mine was the music; the creators took modern music and put an Arabian twist to the lyrics, definitely noticeable and certainly effective.
The film ends with a justifiable climax which sees Alladeen deliver an overwhelming speech mocking democracy and boasting the positives and benefits of a dictatorship (unequal rights and absolute control to name but a few). All 85 minutes of this movie prove to be a worthy watch of a heroic tale, but be warned it is not for the light hearted or easily offended and I urge politically correct and equality sensitive audiences to stay away!