The Dictator in the Movie News
admovieso | May 18, 2012 | No comments
The Dictator is one of the most popular movies playing now, thus it is only natural that its superstar is making headlines in the movie news. Last Monday, Sacha Baron Cohen made a grand entrance at New York’s Waldorf Astoria Hotel to give his new movie a little publicity. But his appearance has drawn mixed reviews; some thought that his antics were pretty funny and others found them eye-rollingly old hat.
Baron Cohen showed up in dictator drag with a plethora of virgins at his side. It was outrageous. It was funny. But it was also very typical.
Baron Cohen’s fake press conference as the Dictator Aladeen had all the trademarks of his humor. He referred to the media as “devils” and “Zionists” and took questions from “journalists and their prostitutes” (in other words, female journalists). He ripped into anyone asking questions, using racial slurs, insinuating sexual relations and requiring that everyone address him the “your Excellency” and “supreme leader.”
This behavior, which once had the ability to inspire shock and awe, now seems a bit tired; we’ve seen this all before in different manifestations, from Borat to Bruno. But it would be wrong to simply dismiss Baron Cohen as a tired act altogether; we may have already heard the jokes, but the subterranean political message behind his humor is very relevant. Dictator Baron Cohen had his eye on the current atrocities in Syria and the international community’s inability to address them. Case and point: his criticism of the United Nations for their “brave inaction over Syria—thirteen months and still no Security Council resolution!” He also underscored the ever tightening grip of political correctness and took a shot at the BBC’s style of censorship.
At the end of the day, whether or not Sacha Baron Cohen’s brand of humor is reaching its expiration date in the ingenuity department is really a smokescreen issue; until we stop paying attention and he stops making popular movies, everything he has to say is relevant.