Political Comedy: The Dictator

The Dictator

We don’t get enough movies that are funny throughout and yet provide something to think about. This is achieved by The Dictator. Sacha  Baron Cohen is a multifaceted individual that provided the writing and acting for the said film.

The fictional country of Wadiya is one of the last standing dictatorships in the world. It’s headed by the bigot and selfish Admiral General Aladeen. He seems to get everything he wants and executes everyone who tries to disagree and challenge his beliefs and thoughts.

Like every other country in the world, there are people who want to be in power just so they can do what they want. His uncle, Tamir, is secretly plotting his demise just so he can sell Wadiya’s oil reserves which Aladeen is strongly opposing.

The current situation in the country caught the attention of the UN and would like for Aladeen to present himself to the said organization and reveal his plans for the said country. This is where his adventure starts – when he went to the United States to go in front of the UN.

This is one of the few movies that will make you laugh all throughout the movie. Even through the serious scenes, you get a hint of comedy such that there is no dead air. The laughter, though, did not really come from sexual references. Although there are some, it isn’t as intense as how other movies will sell it.

Cohen was able to portray the character well. You are able to relate to the frustration of a Wadiyan having a leader like that. You also get his selfishness and childishness. You feel all the frustration and disappointment for that same person. On the other hand, I can feel the vibe of Ana Faris in The House Bunny. Although, on this movie, she stands for something and fights for it. She does sound the same as the naive Playboy bunny which irritates me.

The love story embedded in this movie is a bit farfetched as how they portrayed it. Given that it was highly unlikely, there wasn’t even an explanation as to how this love developed. There was just a point in the movie where the montage of being in love came out. I don’t even understand the attraction. But, it isn’t far from the personality of Aladeen to be unexpected.

I think the movie is a great parody to the struggle of some countries with embracing the idea of democracy. What I like about Aladeen’s speech in the end is the fact that he mentioned that democracy is not perfect – nothing truly is. It has a lot advantages and gives the people the feeling that they can contribute to the development of the nation.

It is rare for something so funny to be have a deep substance. This may have just made the top 10 of my best comedy movies of all time.

 

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