November 18, 2006

Movie Review: Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan

How does one go about reviewing a film such as Borat? It is only a film by a rather loose application of the word. It is more a series of vignettes tied together under a combination of purpose, to learn of America's culture to improve the glorious nation of Kazakhstan, and a secondary tale of Borat's desire to wed Pamela Anderson after seeing an episode of Baywatch.

Sure, that sounds like enough to hang a movie on, but this is a hilarious collection of skits placing Sacha Baron Cohen in situations where his quick wit and ability to improvise expose a darker side of our nature that many may not want to admit is there.

The festivities kick off in Borat's home town, where he introduces us to many of the town's denizens, including the town rapist and his sister, fourth best prostitute in the country. He takes pride in his wealth, and in his backwards ways. He takes his attitudes on the road to America, where he seeks to learn about the culture, in an effort to improve his own country.

The brilliance of Borat lies within the way the character's backwards beliefs are at times confirmed by the unsuspecting American's that he encounters on his journey. Some of the interactions are staged and some are improvised, either way, you never know quite what you are going to get.

Reviewing this is akin to reviewing the Jackass movies. It is either a movie you are going to get or you aren't, it has nothing to do with intelligence, but it is rather out there. It is not your typical mainstream comedy. It is a movie that defies critics. It puts itself out there, it takes taste to limit and then pushes until the barrier breaks. You will spend as much time laughing yourself silly as you will squirming from the uncomfortable setups that are created.

Borat is a road trip comedy that sets out to pick at the scabs covering up the uncomfortable political correctness that bubbles underneath the surface. More than trying to make fun of Borat, it is a reflection of the state of our society, and it is not always a pretty sight. Borat is an innocent, brought up in an underdeveloped country that purports a backwards mindset on society. He is a character out of his element in America, and the perfect choice to send out into the world and jab a stick in the beehive of society, so to speak.

Bottomline. Quite frankly, this may be the funniest film to hit the big screen this year, to at least part of the country. It is a movie that will make you laugh while you watch it and wonder why you laugh as you leave the theater.

Highly Recommended.


Anonymous said...

Sorry to disagree, but 'Borat' was the worst film I've ever seen! Seriously. I have a great sense of humor, but this movie simply crossed the line.

Wasted $8 to watch my country and my gender totally disrespected. The constant onslaught of bathroom antics, references to masterbation and perverted sexual humor was downright nauseating.

All the crassness is now being excused because Sacha Baron Cohen was supposedly "making a deep statement about society"? If Sacha had some deep socio-political message, it could have been wrapped in a more intelligent package.
Any 6th grader with a dirty mind could have made this film.

Perhaps Sacha's biggest statement of all is to make a totally crappy movie, disrespecting several ethnic groups and Americans nominate it for an Academy Award?

Jokes on us, folks.

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