Wednesday, May 8, 2013

What's Next On My List? The Dictator

Recently I watched a great movie:

Before we head in, I need to admit that I don't particularly care for the characters that Sacha Baron Cohen portrays. I do laugh my ass of sometimes and I find him to be and excellent actor - let there be no mistake about that. But sometimes I think he takes it a bit too far into the disgusting department. Even this movie had a couple of things that I didn't really need in order to enjoy it, but it was such a great social commentary that I wanted to talk about it!

Let me copy in the plot summary from imdb: The heroic story of a dictator who risks his life to ensure that democracy would never come to the country he so lovingly oppressed.
That really says it all. Basically, his uncle who was in line for the throne was then replaced by Dictator Aladeen of the country of Wadiya. Once, during a trip to the US to meet the United Nation, his uncle tries to get him killed and replaces him with a double. Aladeen survives and meets up with people he had believed to had executed and one of them helps him in getting back his place. However, he meets a young girl who changes his mind into choosing democracy after all (or at least it seems that way...)

The movie is incredibly racist and handles stereotypes in a really offensive way and guess what? It works. It completely shifts the balance and instead of being actually offensive it just becomes hilarious. Many and many countries lack the ability to laugh at themselves - my dear Hungary being one of them as well - and this movie tries to shed some light onto it. Starting from the stereotype that just because a man's skin is a bit darker and they have a beard it doesn't immediately make them a terrorist! Not to mention this constant threat of other countries developing nuclear weapons... to be honest with you to me it completely feels like a pissing contest over who has the biggest dick!
Either way, the movie also stands out for its fantastic jokes and perfectly timed comedy. There are constant references to other movies, cultures and even viral videos. I loved the acting on the part of the leads as well as the side characters. Overall, it was one of the best social commentary movies I have seen in a long time. I would like to share with you a monologue that Aladeen has toward the end of the movie - not only you'll find the irony and you'll be able to read between the lines - but you might also recognize your own country's governments description in it. I know I did!

"Why are you guys so anti dictators?
Imagine if America was a dictatorship. You could let 1% of the people have all the nation's wealth. You could help your rich friends get richer by cutting their taxes and bailing them out when they gamble and lose. You could ignore the needs of the poor for health care and education. Your media would appear free but would secretly be controlled by one person and his family. You could wiretap phones, you could torture foreign prisoners. You could have rigged elections. You could lie about why you go to war. You could fill your prisons with one particular racial group and no one would complain! You could use the media to scare the people into supporting policies that are against their interests. I know this is hard for you Americans to imagine, but please try."

Make sure you check out this movie, it won't disappoint! But I suggest getting subtitles for it just to be on the safe side!
Until the next item on my list!
_ _ _ _ _ _ 

Zoey - Anna Faris
Tamir - Ben Kingsley

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