This post will start with the trailer, so you’ll know from the beginning of what I’m talking about, especially because usually, I don’t make a summary. I used to put sometimes the trailer at the end , but there, at the end, you’ll have a short piece of the action I found to be much more important.
The Dictator is a 6.5 imdb rated comedy, which I haven’t taken seriously until Sacha Baron Cohen spilled some ashes on the “company man” Ryan Seacrest, at the Oscars Gala in February 2012, months before the film release. I like Baron Cohen a lot, I fully appreciated Borat, but Gaddafi was dead for not too long at the moment the movie prepared it’s launch for May, the same year, and I was mistaken or maybe I only misjudged it for something to cheap.
It was completely wrong to do so, even if I had some other important stuff to do at that time. Whatever the feelings about Sacha Baron Cohen (he didn’t make the popularity Top 100 this year, the year of The Dictator’s launch), he is a genius. Utterly brilliant, like he was in Borat. Brüno was a little too pushed on my nerves, but otherwise all right as a comedy, and hilarious.
[source, for all the pics on this post]
I couldn’t wait to see it, so I went to cinema in it’s Premiere week. I’ve seen the official 83 minutes version, which were just fine. One doesn’t need the 99 minutes (“Unrated Cut”), the extra 16 minutes don’t add to the movie value, consisting by some more sexual restricted content. I have said I’m not making summaries, but one have to know a little what’s happening in this comedy. I never noticed in real life the UN to accept unknown politicians to plead for their causes, ever. It was something similar presented in The Interpreter, where a fictional African head of state had to speak in front of the Assembly. Maybe it happens and they never showed in the news, or better said, not showed in the news anymore. I remember Nixon or Kissinger speeches in the UN (called UNO then) during Vietnam War.
So, the North African Republic of Wadiya, ruled by Admiral General Aladeen, who is a mockery mix of Gaddafi, Saddam and bin Laden or Castro, is under embargo from United States through United Nations (of course, what else can serve best to internationally imposing corporate rules?) for not allowing UN inspectors to check for chemical weapons. Sounds familiar, isn’t it? I know. Wadiya is a country rich in oil, and the “Supreme Leader” (called like the ayatollah of Iran) secretly wants nuclear weapons for his army, to plan a future attack on Israel. It is a trend for all dictators to attack or plan to attack Israel at a moment in time. It’s no secret how Israel boasts to attack Iran, any time from now…
His Prime Minister (Ben Kingsley as Uncle Tamir) plots to overthrow Aladeen, and have a cut of the country’s oil revenue. Apart from the perfect performance of Sacha Baron Cohen, we meet here Anna Faris, Jason Mantzoukas, John C. Reilly (uncredited) and Bobby Lee, as Mr. Lao, the capitalist from the communist China. Anyway, Aladeen must address the UN Security Council and for that he flies to New York. Part of Tamir’s plot was for a “democratic” Constitution to be elaborated and signed at the end of the visit, eventually by Aladeen’s idiot double.
Faris is a peace lover hippie, Mantzoukas is Nadal, Aladeen’s former chief of the Nuclear Program. The reunion with Nadal in New York will be an unexpected pleasure for both of them. You’ll find what else and why, in the movie.
Instead of the poster, I’m using as featured image the one cropped for that role. Director is Larry Charles, the same from Borat, Brüno or Seinfeld. The screenplay is brilliantly written by Sacha Baron Cohen, Alec Berg, Jeff Schaffer, and David Mandel. The rate on imdb is much too low (6.5), but it’s maybe the result of people being distracted with the sex jokes and the fact that the Americans never take too easy the jokes on themselves. Who would take them as they are, after all, just jokes? In the meantime, people forget or anyway, doesn’t seem to learn a thing, any thing.
Watch it without prejudice!
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