‘The Dictator:’ wacky yet innovative

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Just when Sacha Baron Cohen has exhausted all his film ideas and the controversy is over; think again.

Cohen struck movie theatres again—this time as The Dictator. The recent film directed by Larry Charles and starring Sacha Baron Cohen, Anna Faris, Ben Kingsley, Sayed Badreya, Jason Mantzoukas, and Michele Berg, The Dictator is yet another way Cohen manages to create a wacky persona. This character is a dictator by the name of Admiral General Aladeen of the North African Republic of Wadiya. The character is of course very similar to those in Borat and Bruno, also directed by Charles. The question is, are these characters too similar or are they just different enough?

Admiral General Aladeen is a dictator who comes to America for a UN council speech to stand strong against his Wadiya becoming a democratic-style government. He wants to remain the dictator who keeps his people strictly under his own belief system, (comically of course). When his dictatorship is threatened, a series of awkward and silly events take place leading ultimately to Aladeen finding love with an extreme vegan feminist by the name of Zoey, played by Anna Faris. As far as predictability, there’s rarely any of that, as is often the case with Cohen. With a good cast and believable acting, The Dictator is really quite worth a trip to the theatre.

Each of Cohen’s strange characters are amusing in their own way, but you don’t have to look too deeply to realize they’re all essentially the same. In each film Cohen is a very foreign and intolerant man who comes to America for either personal or political reasons. Each film generates much gathered public attention, with the films being banned in several countries after its release. Despite these controversies however, Cohen’s satirical humor is not lost. He manages to continue to break the bonds of the expected and to shatter the confines of film as we know it. His humor and his storytelling are fearless, and that seems to be why he has such a strong following. Even with the similarities, Sacha Baron Cohen is an innovator, and that is clearly reflected through all of his films, including the new Dictator.