“Dear Dictator” Review ✦✦✦✧✧

17 March, 2018

Directors: Lisa AddarioJoe Syracuse
Screenwriters: Lisa AddarioJoe Syracuse
Director of Photography: Wyatt Troll
Michael CaineOdeya RushKatie Holmes

Synopsis: A misfit teen with a love for old-school punk rock becomes pen pals with a foreign dictator who arrives on her doorstep seeking refuge during a time of crisis.

Dear Dictator Review:

Honest about the face of revolution while consistently witty as an absurdist comedy with a self-aware viewpoint, “Dear Dictator” is a militant mickey-take with an impossibly amusing concept, a film in which hardcore punk, milk-boarding, and Katie Holmes getting her feet licked quite remarkably come together in a coherent structure. Brutal in inference with oppression and rebellion forming the backdrop for an unlikely friendship between teen and tyrant, the movie humanises social outcasts, adopting skewed morals while detecting an overlooked link between anarchy and autocracy.

Capturing an imperfect relationship between mother and daughter with tumultuous yet hilarious scenes of discord in the family home, “Dear Dictator” examines motherhood with “Freaky Friday” precision, retaining a sense of humour in priceless battleground moments involving a seemingly mismatched duo. While both sides fight for compassion on their own terms, the film provides the perfect excuse for the pair to find common ground, introducing the titular dictator to them both and dissipating their forever-feud in moments of unexpected warmth.

While undeniably bonkers and easy to dismiss as a frivolous probe movie, “Dear Dictator” puts its silliness to good use, imploring viewers to read between the lines in a film far too ridiculous to be taken seriously. Brimming with nods to music, movies, and movements, “Dear Dictator” is surprisingly tasteful in its choice of references, turning Israeli beauty queen Odeya Rush into an angsty American whose rebellious nature fuels an obsession with the past and all of the anger that it has to offer. Built on stereotypes but humanised by intentionality, the movie imparts life lessons on every character, bridging the gap between power and punk and tearing down preconceived notions of companionship in a politically-charged climate.


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Dear Dictator