The Dictator- a movie for the politically savvy

I was bowled over by the movie, “The Dictator”. Sacha Baron Cohen’s ventures in the past were quite amusing but I did squirm occasionally at the crassness of his humour. In his latest production, however, Baron Cohen is very impressive. His script is tighter and the acting is much better, but, for me, the most impressive trait of “The Dictator” is its acerbic satire.

This film is strictly political and if you want to enjoy it to its full potential then you have to be au fait with current affairs. It is not a children’s movie, nor is it for teenagers who are more familiar with Justin Bieber, say.

The satire revolves around the latest Arab Spring’s toying with democracy and the downfall of a few regimes. Cohen is quite ruthless about dictatorship in general and Arab and Muslim dictatorships in particular. He attacks racial prejudice and stereotyping and even the U.S cops a bit of a beating.

The main target of his satire, however, is a dictator who reminds us just a tiny bit of the former and currently defunct Libyan ruler. Baron Cohen plays the part of the dictator as if he were born for this role.

He is refreshingly politically incorrect and I have to admit that I roared with laughter many, many times and even clapped out loud. Cohen says it like it is. No spin, no BS, just the truth as many of us see it.

It felt good to have one’s feelings validated. For those of you who like a bit of romance, well, there’s even a dose of that in “The Dictator” and it’s handled in the Frank Capra style of romantic comedies.

I would honestly describe “The Dictator” as sophisticated satire. If you like politics and you like biting satire with brains, then you should not miss this film.


One Direction is haunting me

Hard to believe but I was there when the new One Direction pop up store opened this morning. This is the second time that I have come upon the One Direction circus.

Please don’t think that I was in the long queue of fans like several hundred silly girls were. I just happened to walk past in Chapel St at 9 a.m and heard some squawking and squealing followed by a countdown.

“What the…is that noise?” I asked and then I saw them. Not One Direction, cause they aren’t even here. They apparently aren’t due in Australia until next year. No, this was a gaggle of pubescent girls and a couple of boys as well. There were even some parents there, for crying out loud. They were all lining up outside this small shop which is cashing in on the hysteria about the boy group.

We stood across the road and laughed, but to be honest, the laughter soon turned to sadness as we watched those girls make fools of themselves over T-shirts and other paraphernalia about One Direction.

That Simon Cowell is a very smart man, isn’t he? To think that he can organise a non-event on a frosty morning for a boy group that isn’t even present. To think that hundreds of girls would get up early in the morning to line up outside a pop up store and chant and squeal for hours. (Some of them for seventeen hours, so I’m told) to buy some trinkets with pictures of their favourite member of the One Direction farce, is absolutely mind-numbing.

Once the countdown for the opening of the store was over the girls rushed in and we continued our walk.

The whole thing was senseless. I actually had to explain to my husband that One Direction aren’t even here yet.

“So what was all that fuss about?” he asked. “Why were they screaming?”

He got a shrug from me in response. “Let’s get out of here,” I said and we walked on anxious to distance ourselves from the hysteria.