I told myself that I was going to really spend a lot of time blogging this summer, especially with writing reviews and opinion articles regarding film, but instead, I’ve been lazily posting trailers just to make the site more visual. Unless the readers are 5th graders who can only focus for about 2 minutes and 25 seconds at a time, I should probably shift more into the writing aspect of a blog, hence the word blog.
Moving on from that.
Sacha Baron Cohen. What more needs to be said of the man who has such an intelligent background, the writing of a genius and the ability to piss off so many individuals it should be hailed as a talent. It is a talent. You have to be really good at something to be talented, and Cohen is extremely gifted in the field of offensive and brash humor. The success and failure of his two films, Borat and Bruno, respectively, shows the wide spectrum and risk Cohen continuously takes, and unfortunately, they are either hit or miss. But whatever his films maybe considered, there is no doubt that Cohen puts his undying passion into making sure that he angers as many people as possible without absolute no regard to political, social or societal acceptance or respect. And that’s the beauty of Sacha Baron Cohen. He’s built a repertoire that almost gives him a pass throughout the world. He is the one man
who is allowed to say whatever he wants to say,
and this is true for The Dictator.
The Dictator is actually portrayed very well in the trailers that were released. As an “evil” dictator and ruler from the fake Northern African nation of Wadiya, Admiral General Hafez Aladeen is your typical self-indulged, arrogant political figure who plays on the role similar to his idealists of Saddam Hussein and Kim Jong-Il (so much so the film is dedicated to the deceased dictator). As he arrives to New York City for a U.N. summit in regards to his nuclear weapons production in his country, an unfortunate torture plot creates a beardless and facial hairless Aladeen, which creates a large predicament as no one recognizes who he his. He needs to figure out a way to get back into the U.N. before his beloved Wadiya turns into a democratic nation where peace would reign and women would have rights (insert joke here).
Most would skip this last paragraph considering no one really cares about the plot. We bought the ticket to see the jokes, the offensive humor and see what Cohen could do to up the ante. I don’t really know if the ante was raised, considering Bruno really pushed the boundaries to one of the most uncomfortable theater experiences I’ve ever had. But in terms of entertainment value, I was surprisingly pleased. Now don’t take me as some cruel and inconsiderate individual with absolutely no sense for human rights and a sexist pig who refuses to give women’s rights. One would think that someone who enjoyed this walking out of the theater would be such an individual would make sense considering the amount of jokes and lines about women, racism, religion and terrorism, but in all honesty, this is a funny movie. Yes it is extremely offensive, brash and truly unnecessary, but aren’t most of Cohen’s acts?
Actually, I beg to differ on the last sentence. I think Cohen’s films and episodes have a lot more depth and revealing ideals about culture and the world’s current state economically, socially and societal standards. I think it’s very interesting that the world seems so hush-hush on issues like The Dictator raises, but it’s okay that all of this is happening. If we can keep quiet the political satire, all is okay in the world. What really is confusing is that Cohen’s writing is so fresh, hence so much of this refers to things that we all knew about years ago. There are so many cracks and attacks on all perspectives and viewpoints from American ideology to the Middle East, everyone is a victim. And that is the most honest thing that will be revealed to us. No nation is perfect, but we love to think we are. America is a screwed up nation as any other nation throughout this world, but in different ways. Is it so hard for us as Americans to see this on screen? I think if any nation should be able accept this kind of rhetoric, it should be us.
Without writing a thesis on The Dictator, the film is stupid and obnoxious, but is hilarious. Few scenes do it the best especially with the references to 9/11. Yes, it’s still vivid and quite clear to all Americans, but I guess enough time has passed as that was the scene that I laughed the most. And from untimely baby deliveries to America being the ultimate dictatorship, the newest Sacha Baron Cohen works for me. And I write it in that specific way because I know this film won’t work for many, most likely most. I expected crap. But what I got was fun and entertaining crap, and if it’s worth the admission ticket, then it was worth my time. And it also has the best remix of The Next Episode I’ve ever heard.
I give The Dictator 3 stars (out of 5).