Cohen Shines as The Dictator – movie review

The Dictator is a movie directed by Larry Charles, starring Sacha Baron Cohen. It  is about a North African dictator who does everything possible to prevent the rise of democracy in the country that he had oppressed. The Dictator is dedicated to the memory of Kim Jong Il, who was the leader of North Korea.

The movie revolves around Cohen playing the role of Admiral General Aladeen, who is treacherous, impressively bearded and an insensible leader of the North African Wadiya Republic. He refuses international export of oil and plans on creating nuclear weapons. When the UN decides to interfere militarily, General Aladeen goes to the United Nations headquarters to speak to the council.

In the mean time, Tamir (Ben Kingsley) substitutes Aladeen with mentally-challenged Efawadh and  plans of opening the oil business . Through the movie, we see  Aladeen struggling to get his position back. He goes to Little Wadiya and meets the former chief of Wadiya’s nuclear program, Nadal, who promises to help Aladeen ruin Tamir’s plot. Later, the story is about how Aladeen gets his power back.

The Dictator is scripted and staged conventionally. It depends on calculated offence and obscenity. The story is a political satire and some of the political jokes are designed in such a way that they seem to bully and cause discomfort to the audience.

There is so much madness in the movie that it is difficult to take the message, if there was any, seriously. The way Cohen pokes the structure of democracy and dictatorship should be appreciated. He has played the role of Aladeen beautifully, highlighting his talents as an actor. At some places, the comedy in the movie works, but most of the time it stinks. On the whole, The Dictator will make you laugh, cry and cringe.

We give the Dictator 3 out of 5.

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