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‘The Dictator’ Opening Scene Introduces Us to General Aladeen

The Dictator
Paramount

The trailers for ‘The Dictator‘ have certainly underwhelmed and given us little more than yet another ethnic Sacha Baron Cohen alter ego. In a smart move, Paramount just released the opening scene from the film proving that whoever cut that trailer together before had no idea how to sell this film.

Deadline posted the clip, and in it we get a sequence evocative of a newsreel, introducing us to Baron Cohen’s General Aladeen character, the dictator who runs the African country of Wadiya.

The film seems to play with cultural ideas well, like the moment where the narrator says that Aladeen’s mother died in childbirth, while the footage shows her being smothered with a pillow immediately following his birth.

Baron Cohen’s two mockumentaries — ‘Borat’ and ‘Bruno,’ both based on characters from ‘Da Ali G Show’ — both successfully found humor in the way Americans perceive (and often misunderstand) other cultures and lifestyles, pitting stereotypes against ignorance.

The concern with ‘The Dictator’ has been with the stripping of the mock-doc format for the purpose of a traditional narrative, but this new clip proves that Baron Cohen and director Larry Charles can still mine the same ideas for humor in a different way.

‘The Dictator’ opens nationwide on May 16.

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