It's 1972 and a failing actor Kim Sung-Guin is groomed to become a double of North Korean Dictator Kim Il-Sung. This performance of a life time does not find its audience, and thirty years later our failed dictator is in a retirement home, consumed by his fake persona. It all changes when his son bails him out in order to get his share of an inheritance. A hilarious and a sad journey to the past brings the two men together in this bitter sweet drama, that is too good for its gimmicky premise.
MY DICTATOR starts off as a straight forward drama, spirals into comedy, and then bounces back into a full dramatic mode. The plot is over the top with both, melodrama and comedy going overboard, but they always work. Focusing mostly on the father-son relationship it is about obsessions that come through generations and never let go.
The movie runs for over two hours, but it doesn't drag a bit. Instead it turns into a family saga. After credits roll one will get a feeling, that he had reached a conclusion of a very satisfying book. MY DICTATOR is quite a journey.
Kyung-gu Sol, one of the most popular actors in modern Korea, gives an inspired performance. His transformation from a loving dad to a dictator is believable and heartbreaking, but he also manages to bring the comic side out with the same ease, as he delivers the dramatic part.
MY DICTATOR maybe too serious for what it tries to achieve, but it also makes us to take it seriously. All the lose ends are perfectly wrapped up in the soaring conclusion. MY DICTATOR is one of these films that defy expectations and deliver on its promises on every turn..