Borat Sagdiyev (Sacha Baron Cohen) and his producer leaves
their home village in Kazakhstan and comes to the "U.S. and A." to make a
documentary for the Kazakh government. Plans go awry when Borat falls in love
with Pamela Anderson and decides to travel cross-country to find her. While
doing so, he interviews various people.
What I Thought
Hello everyone, it's been a while. No, I haven't been going to the movies
recently, I have to save money for a massive assessment our condo is giving us,
so no more movies for a while. Except for those extra-special ones like Borat,
And this movie IS extra-special. So special in fact that I debated as to which
"voice" to use when writing this review. I toyed with writing a review the way
Borat would, or maybe as the Kazakh government, but I figured that given the
levels of anti-Semitism, mysognyny, and plain crudeness needed to represent
Borat and his world, I'd get fired from my job, and then where would I be?
For Borat is anti-Semitic, misogynistic, crude, rude, and offensive in any way
imaginable. Cohen isn't the first to create an extreme character in order to let
people's guard down, creating a work both of high (or low) comedy and social
commentary. But it is his genius that gives Borat a grounded pleasant humanity
and makes him more than a one-dimensional caricature.
For those unfamiliar with Cohen and his HBO's Da Ali G show, he has three
characters (a London West-End clueless ghetto idiot Ali G, a very over-the-top
and aggressively gay Austrian TV fashion guy Bruno,
and Borat). These three characters confront real people and push them to say and
do things that sometimes expose their prejudices.
One of the more chilling (and controversial) examples of this on the show is
Borat visiting a Southern bar and leading the crowd in the song "Throw the Jew
Down the Well". Cohen himself is Jewish and plays on people's stereotypes of
Jews (or gays, or women, etc.) and sometimes comes up with horrific results. As
he sings his song, people start to JOIN IN on the chorus!! The humor here is
that it's both a funny situation (Borat in a bar in the South, with a
funny/horrific song) and horror that people are actually singing along.
Writing this, it doesn't sound all that funny. But picture Borat with his bad
moustache, his crumpled grey suit, awkward accent, and almost childlike
exuberance in meeting people, and it adds up to movie brilliance.
Finally, that nude wrestling fight between Borat and his producer is just
absolutely the funniest thing I've seen all year.