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The Dictator


Year: 2012 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1 (Scope) 
Certificate: BBFC 15 Cert – Not suitable for under 15s 
Subtitles: This film is expected to have certain elements which are subtitled, but it is not expected that the entire film will contain them. 
Directed by Larry Charles 
Starring: Sacha Baron Cohen, Anna Faris, Ben Kingsley  
An image from The Dictator

Borat is back! Well, not quite. This time Sacha Baron Cohen has returned with a film driven by significantly more plot than his last two innovations.

The Dictator smacks of a more sartorial, if still a little edgy, comedy reminiscent of his first feature film Ali G Indahouse, and delivers laugh after laugh with an inimitable humour. Although perhaps not a paragon of political correctness, Baron Cohen pokes fun at Western stereotypes in a deliberately tongue-in-cheek manner.

Admiral General Hafez Aladeen (Baron Cohen) is an immature, xenophobic and misogynistic despot and dictator of the North African Republic of Wadiya. After being betrayed by his uncle Tamir (Kingsley) and then kidnapped by the hitman Clayton (Reilly), while on a diplomatic mission in the USA, Aladeen finds himself lost in the chaotic confusion of New York City. Stripped of his trademark beard, Aladeen is fated to wander the streets penniless and unrecognizable, but is rescued by an unlikely encounter with political activist Zoe (Farris). She offers Aladeen a job at her alternative lifestyle shop and eventually joins him on his quest to regain his dictatorship. This mismatched pairing leads to innumerable hilarities and a fantastic odyssey from the gutters of New York’s “Little Wadiya” to the arid oil fields of North Africa.

The Dictator actively resists restriction to one genre, and simultaneously straddles the categories of romance, spoof, comedy, political satire and action-adventure. Baron Cohen provides us with a particularly edgy comedy, that has caused contention and controversy among critics, but it is delivered in a brilliantly farcical and undeniably comic package.

Georgie Rawson

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Screenings of this film:

2012/2013 Autumn Term (35mm)
2012/2013 Autumn Term (35mm)