Thursday, December 15, 2011

Will The Real Great Dictator Please Stand Up

I have an odd cinematic relationship with comedian/actor Sacha Baron Cohen. It's kind of hard to explain really, but if I were to extrapolate it to the most abstract base, it is essentially this: I don't find him very funny, but I find him incredibly captivating. Take for example his breakthrough film Borat. I thought it was stupid, racist, and barely capable of attaining even the most generous of chuckles from me. That said I watched the entire movie because I thought Cohen had created a persona that sucked you in. In the same way that people love to hate listening to Howard Stern, I loved to hate watching Borat do, well whatever the hell it was that he did do (I'm sure grammar majors are flopping out of their chairs at the horrid past/present tense of that sentence structure).

That's pretty much a stance which has carried over into his own signature work (Da Ali G and Bruno), though I find him to be absolutely spot on in his two major supporting roles (Hugo and Sweeny Todd) and would love to see more of that. However, for now though I must internalize and process the coming of his next feature film, The Dictator (no not a remake of Chaplin's The Great Dictator - at least I hope not - though I do think he's trying to go for the same feel), a satire on Middle East dictators that I'm sure will be packed with plenty of "too close for comfort" comedy.

Even though he's sticking with the same people that helped make Borat and Bruno, I must say that I find it reassuring knowing that he's going with the "is it a documentary that's staged or a mockumentary that's real" look that had people of the internet debating semantics in full force come end of the year list time. So will Cohen's Dictator work for me? Will I finally come aboard the Sacha Baron Cohen bandwagon? We'll have to wait and see. Though I will say this: if the first trailer is any indication, I can't help feeling more of the same is on the way (oh and yay Ben Kingsley)

3 better thoughts:

Mike Lippert said...

I thought Borat was hilarious but have never found any of the other creations from his show to be rather uninteresting. I think the problem with Bruno is that it just told the same story but forgot what worked about Borat. I get the feeling that this film is going to tell the exact same story again (a foreigner coming to America). I think this is probably a great idea for satire but I feel from the trailer the documentary thing may hinder a lot of this film's possibilities.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Hate to say it but the only movie of his that's held my attention was Madagascar. I only had to hear him. Of course, that probably says something odd about me...

Candice Frederick said...

i'm with you. i'm not a cohen fan at all though. he really needs to step up his game and stop putting junk like this out.

Related Posts with Thumbnails