Tajikistan fans of Sacha Baron Cohen are all out of luck, it would appear. The central Asian country has decided against screening the British comedian's latest spoof 'The DICtator', with authorities concluding it was incompatible with the nation's "mentality", reports the UK's Guardian newspaper.
The film features Cohen as General Aladeen, a tyrannical North African ruler who does everything in his power to thwart the threat of democracy. The comedic actor has undertaken all of the film's promotional tour in full character, causing plenty of controversy along the way. However, the movie has been refused a distribution license in Tajikistan, with cinema owners in the capital Dushanbe opting for the more family-friendly 'Men in Black Iii' as their main movie for the coming weeks. It is familiar territory for Sacha Baron Cohen, whose 2006 movie 'Borat' went down like a lead balloon in Kazakhstan, despite the country's tourist industry showing clear signs of growth. The country later found the funny side, and 'Borat' was the most popular film in the country to have been ordered via Amazon in 2007.
Though the film has been slammed for its close-to-the-bone scenes, critics have generally reacted favourably to Cohen's latest effort. Andrew O'Hehir of Salon.com said, "Although the character of Aladeen seems awfully predictable by Baron Cohen standards, the movie itself veers from one hilarious, absurd and patently offensive setup to the next". Peter Travers of Rolling Stone offered "The DICtator starts at outrageous and rockets on from there. Screw the occasional sputter".