Film Review of The Dictator
The Dictator (15)
Director: Larry Charles
Starring: Sacha Baron Cohen, Anna Faris, Ben Kingsley
Release Date: 16th May 2012
Despots don’t come funnier than this! Sacha Baron Cohen is back, and this time he’s Admiral General Aladeen – ruler of the fictitious nation of Wadiya who is double-crossed by his traitorous uncle Tamir (Kingsley) but then falls for the uber-liberal activist Zoey (Faris). This film was directed by Larry Charles, who previously worked with Cohen and directed Borat and Bruno.
Famous for creating Borat and Bruno, Cohen rams hilarity in your face, but this time, in a more political manner. The film and its characters have Cohen’s fingerprints all over them, nobody else could create a character like Aladeen and carry it off with the hilarious controversy that Cohen does – especially turning up to the Oscars dressed as the character!
Over all, it’s a pretty funny film. It’s nowhere near as outlandish and graphic as Borat or Bruno but it still gets you laughing. The film seems to have a political agenda and has more political satire than first expected. Like Borat, Bruno and Ali G, The Dictator reaches a wide audience in its humour, but don’t be surprised if you find that the 15 year olds going to see this with their school friends, dressed in their chinos and their hi-tops, don’t find The Dictator as funny as Cohen’s previous work – this would be down to the film’s political motive.
Cohen pulls off the character with ease and you feel like you’re watching the love-child of Colonel Gaddafi and Mr Bean. Anna Faris is a bit annoying, but it’s nothing worth getting worked up over and Ben Kingsley sticks to what he does best: playing an evil uncle with a goatee that makes your skin crawl.
Like Borat and Bruno, there’s a fair bit of casual racism involved, which will make you feel a bit awkward, but it’s nothing that overshadows the film. The humour starts off slow but by the end you’ll have had a good few belly-laughs – although there some predictable jokes thrown in at the start, but there’s a nice speech about Democracy at the end which will please all the liberal-buffs out there!
The film has a certain Monty Python feel to it, and it seems as if Cohen has dropped the gross-humour and gone down a quirkier road when making The Dictator. Nonetheless, it’s a funny film; a slow start but by the end you’ll be glad you went to see it.