Wednesday, November 08, 2006
Movie Review: Borat
The movie Borat features the British comedian Sasha Baron Cohen, most well known for his Ali G character, as Borat, a reporter from Kazakhstan who travels to the United States to research the American way and report back to his country. At his hotel in New York, he catches Baywatch on TV and decides to travel to California in pursuit of Pamela Anderson. Borat and his producer road trip in an old ice cream truck, encountering various aspects of America along the way, including a rodeo, a yard sale, an evangelical Christian meeting. Borat is as offensive as one can possibly imagine- he hates and fears Jewish people and thinks women should be slaves- and this movie is anything but tame. I'm surprised that it didn't get slapped with an NC-17 rating, especially with the grotesque extended male nudity scene, which was both the most disgusting and most hilarious thing I've ever seen. Everyone in the theater was screaming in horror, laughing, covering their eyes, or doing a combination of all three. I also wasn't sure if the people he encounters are actors or actual Americans voicing their own offensive opinions. Some, like the car salesman, were funny as hell and seemed genuine. Borat declares that he would like to buy a car to attract the type of women who shave "down there," and the salesman, without skipping a beat, responds "you're looking for a Corvette." Others, like the USC frat boys in the RV, I hope are actors, because otherwise, they are just too pathetic for words. Even though the movie is essentially a one trick pony (comedian pretending to be a foreigner goes around simultaneously offending Americans and exposing their own prejudices), it will make you laugh out loud as well as ponder how large, diverse, and strange our nation truly is. I also recommend seeing it in a theater, because the reactions of the audience definitely enhance the experience.