Willard's Review of Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan
[indent][color=black][font=SimSun][size=3][font=Times New Roman]BORAT: CULTURAL LEARNINGS OF AMERICA FOR MAKE BENEFIT GLORIOUS NATION OF KAZAKHSTAN
Director: Larry Charles Writer: Sacha Baron Cohen, Peter Baynham, Anthony Hines, Todd Phillips, Dan Mazer
"Although Kazakhstan a glorious country, it have a problem, too: economic, social, and Jew."
Sacha Baron Cohen, the man we all know and recognize as the simple-minded yet intense Ali G, is treading water. He's not going anywhere, and doesn't seem to be gasping for breath either. Maybe it's nothing new, and Tom Green may be owed some dues, but he's still freakishly good at getting the laughing stock award of the year. Jackass? Johnny Knoxville? Make room for Borat, because if you don't, he may make sexy time with you without you even being aware.
As an actual, living, breathing, walking around type of person, Sacha Baron Cohen is probably sure to surprise you as evidenced in his out of character interviews. He graduated from Cambridge University with a degree in history before entering the world of comedic performance. His show "Da Ali G Show" on HBO was a cult hit in post 9/11 America, where he imitates a hip hop style interviewer in an effort to intimidate experts in many social and political fields. His Hebrew is pretty good too, despite what the film Borat would lead you to believe about his opinions.
The film Borat is the story of a young ambassador from an Eastern European country in the United States. It follows his path along from New York City to Hollywood, and all the pitfalls along the way. It is an extremely edgy mockumentary that hearkens comparisons to many films of coming to age in America, but without the sappy side stories, excluding Borat's obsession with Pamela Anderson which fuels his journey across the country, by way of a Baywatch magazine and eventually as an unwitting saboteur in the form of a DVD. It is a story that makes little sense, but brings attention to many stereotypes we take so easily for granted when living here in the U.S.A.
"What's up with it, Vanilla face? Me and my homie Azamat just parked our slab outside. We're looking for somewhere to post up our Black asses for the night. So, uh, bang bang, skeet skeet, nigga. Just a couple of pimps, no hos."
Borat and his manager of sorts, a chicken, and a bear are all that we get for main characters. But the amount of laughs more than make up for any shortcomings that one might foresee. Much of the humor is very dry yet jolting. You will probably actually find yourself wondering how a man could be so under cultured, and totally lose track of the fact that this is indeed a comedic character portrayal, and not a real human being sent from Kazakhstan to learn the ways of American life.
The best scenes are back-to-back, and the wheels keep rolling, even while our eyes are. His inept fear of Jews and Gypsies alike, are fairly unsettling, but his reactions are so outrageous that we can almost overlook the prejudice inherent in much of his "foriegn" viewpoints. My personal favorite scene is towards the end at a Church where Borat finds himself stumbling in to be redeemed and saved by an overzealous evangelist. But everyone will more than likely have their own moments of complete comedic satisfaction while being entertained by this film.
The acting by Cohen is phenomenal, as stated before we can easily subdue our objective view and find ourselves as lost as he is in not only the plot but dialog of the film. The dialog is undoubtedly the stronger point of the picture, even amidst the tom-foolery of an overgrown man with a child's heart.
Borat actually caught a big bit of flak from the actual government of Kazakhstan when he toured the States for interviews in character as Borat. On the white house lawn, Cohen threw an impromptu press conference touting the downfalls of the Kazakhstan government, which they retaliated to with a spread in The New York Times that intended to shoot down statements made by Sacha. However, despite these factors Borat managed to break records at the box-office.
Consider yourself lucky to be part of a time when mockumentary film making is at such a high standard of success. Borat is definitely one of the more refined and professional attempts in the genre, and an unmissable contribution to comedy.
"May George Bush drink the blood of every man, woman, and child in Iraq!"
Actors: Sacha Baron Cohen, Ken Davitian, Luenell
Producer: Monica Levinson, Dan Mazer, Sacha Baron Cohen, Jay Roach Cinematographer: Luke Geissbuhler, Anthony Hardwick Music: Erran Baron Cohen Editor: Craig Alpert, Peter Teschner, James Thomas
Borat (2006) 10/10 [/font][/size][/font][/color]