Borat!: Cultural Learnings Of America Make For Benefit Of Kazakhstan (2006)

A road trip through America & satirization-prism for racism, sexism, & Middle Eastern/U.S.-thematized bigotry, Borat is a voracious, veracious, versatile politically-incorrect comedy mockumentary – narrated by a career performance/character by Sacha Baron Cohen. 9/10.

Plot Synopsis: Outrageous situations occur when Borat, a reporter (Sacha Baron Cohen) from Kazakhstan, comes to the U.S.A. to film a documentary on what makes America a great nation. Along the way, he manages to offend just about everyone he meets, fall in love with actress Pamela Anderson, and set forth on a cross-country journey to make her his wife.

*Possible Spoilers Ahead*

Official CLC Review

A New Icon Of Comedy

Da Ali G Show Created A HBO-Multiverse Of Sacha Baron Cohen Characterized Comedy – Now Released On The Big Screen

Photograph Courtesy Of: 20th Century Fox

March 31, 2000: A comic named Sacha Baron Cohen’s new show Da Ali G Show releases on HBO to thunderous ratings and applause – wherein he interviews unsuspecting public figures to evoke unscripted responses in the guise of one of his three outrageous characters. There’s faux-street/self-proclaimed voice of the youth Ali G, gay Austrian fashion designer Brüno, and a reporter from Kazakhstan who stole the show as (CLC’s vote) the best character of D.A.G.S.: Borat Sagdiyev. Each of the new-school icon comedic characters got a feature-length film adaptation, but only one of them proved our exact sentiments on the limitless potential of Borat’s character (two, with a sequel announced!). A road trip through America & satirization-prism for racism, sexism, and Middle Eastern/U.S.-thematized bigotry, Borat is a voracious, veracious, versatile politically-incorrect comedy mockumentary amongst the best of the early-2000’s – narrated by a career performance/character by ambitious funnyman Sacha Baron Cohen.

The Nation Of Kazakhstan

A Brilliant Satirization Of Middle-Eastern/Soviet Nations’ Archaic Rituals & Ideological Stances On Race & Sex

Photograph Courtesy Of: 20th Century Fox

The opening scene of the film introduces us to our blithe, debauchery-conditioned protagonist – and one of the funniest world-builds in comedy history. Though I’m not sure how the film got greenlit by the actual nation it’s based on for such a crude and vulgar interpretation of it, Borat’s depiction of Kazakhstan satirizing Middle-Eastern/Soviet nations is absolutely hilarious. A village where kindergarteners wield full-on machine guns, the oldest elder in the village is only 43 years-old, they have ‘running of the [Jew]’ to be pelted as monsters, sexism and racism run as rampant as its full-on r*pists, worship hawks, carry full-chickens in their suitcases, and sing a national anthem proudly-proclaiming their #1 exporter-status of potassium and other countries ‘the home of the gays’, Kazakhstan packs the politically-incorrect punch a raunchy comedy like this promises – while all for a purpose. The film is journalistically a hard-hitting satire of the archaic rituals and outmoded ways-of-thinking of lesser-evolved nations still clinging to these ways of the past, and a damn effective one at that taken to the absolute brink of ridiculousness for comedic value to expose the evils still everpresent within.

The Satirization Prism Of U.S.[&]A.

A Road Trip Through America Finds The ‘Greatest Nation In The World’ Isn’t That Different Or Evolved – Evil & Fair-Game

Photograph Courtesy Of: 20th Century Fox

To solve their problems hilariously-labeled as ‘economic, social, and jew’, Mr. Sagdiyev vows to visit America and learn from the ‘Greatest Country In The World’ how to evolve, only to – predictively, to its citizens at least – find there’s a lot wrong here too. The masterclass in unscripted sketch comedy interviewing people not knowing they’re on camera to expose real-life homophobia, racism against black people, xenophobia, religious persecution of Muslims, violence, anti-science rhetoric, fake-Christianity, and frat bro-sexism/slavery-mongering is one that is a truly-striking exposition we all need to see: that all of these evils are still lurking heavily in the currents of the U.S.[and]A. These are framed in such magnificent ways, it’s a sensory-overloading experience: our favorites being the feminist-meeting wherein he trolls them and calls one an ‘old man’, the south dinner party that is cancelled the second they see a black guest, the classically-angry sermon and fact it literally twists the Good Samaritan parable by having Borat be sleeping right in front of the church and no one helping him instead just walking around him, and best of all: the rodeo-speech wherein he makes sadistic and bewildered claims against Iraqis like having Bush drink the blood of every woman and child.. to thunderous applause from people not knowing they’re being filmed. Greatness.

The Comedy

A Neverending Stream Of Unscripted Hilarity Making Us Laugh At Political Incorrectness – By A Legendary SBC-Borat

Photograph Courtesy Of: 20th Century Fox

The jokes and gags in Borat are a neverending stream of hits delivered by a never-better Sacha Baron Cohen. Even more reigned in and disciplined in his delivery since Da Ali G Show, SBC’s tall, awkward, skinny minifro Borat delivers thickly-racist grammatically-nightmare caricature-comedy in a variety of wildly-funny motifs – all benefitting from the unscripted improvisation he built his career on. There’s social/cultural comedy learning the ways of American customs and morphing everyday activities into vehicles for laughs – like trying to double-kiss American cheeks and getting threatened for beatings and delivering crude humour in a bizarre, idiosyncratic way filled with expletives and new phrases as we watch the bewildered faces of tame-Christians who got into way more than they bargained for. The scene that sticks out most to us in that way [while also serving in-and-of-itself as a prism for comedy] is the ‘humour coach’ one where even a trained professional is not prepared for the ‘vageenh’ story Borat tells him of his retard brother Bilo. The horror-movie Jew one taking the sweetest old couple and laughing at the prospect someone could think they’re evil animorphs is also classic comedy. SBC radiates energy and childlike enthusiasm as he crafts this NSFW canvas of jokes you wouldn’t tell your mother, and it’s damn funny – as long as you can force yourself to ‘smile’ like he tells the ‘old man’ taking herself too seriously.

The NSFW Vulgarity & A Beholder-Eye

A Collection Of Scenes Too Intense For A Majority Of Viewers Who Need To Learn To ‘Smile’ & Admitted Western Romanticization

Photograph Courtesy Of: 20th Century Fox

Flaws in Borat are actually a beholder-eye conundrum: the film is as offensive or funny as you make it out to be in your personal world-view. Of course, the topics are anything-but-funny to laugh at: racism, sexism, religious persecution, incest, anti-science, hatred, assault, r*pe, and all of the evils we try to convince ourselves our people have outgrown. Few of the gags also go too-far like the running of the Jew, and the film does emit a Western-romanticization at the expense of the East (who I’m betting will take extreme, understandable offense to this film). However, the film frames them in an obviously-satirical way that exposes the inherent awfulness of them – and does so in an undoubtedly-funny way – so it gets a pass because they’re clearly not meant or supposed to be taken seriously. There are even feel-good themes like overcoming these racial and sexual stereotypes/taboos in Borat accepting a prostitute after development from being hyper-obsessed with a blonde bimbo TV star – a transcendence of his archaic ways of thinking in pursuit of true love that’s almost flattering and works together with its intense satire to make us do better by holding a mirror/magnifying glass to our shortcomings.

Conclusion

A V(o/e)racious 2000’s Comedy

A Road Trip Through America & Satirization-Prism For Racism, Sexism, & Middle-East/U.S.-Theamtized Bigotry – Narrated By A Mythical Mockumentary SBC

Photograph Courtesy Of: 20th Century Fox

Overall, Borat is one of the most voracious and veracious comedies of the 2000’s. From its opening Kazakhstan scene, it abrasively grips us with vulgar racial and sexual jokes that rebuke political-correctness – and makes us laugh beyond our moral compass’ screams and warnings. The film is a prismatic satirization of the evils & bigotry of not only Middle East/Soviet countries trapped in centuries of racism, religious persecution, and misogyny – but also the ones of the U.S.A., perhaps even worse by feigning morality and religious fortitude when they metaphorically [and physically] ignore Biblical law. The project also works as a caricature of UK-isolationism poking fun at its views towards the rest of the world, as well as a shockingly-cogent transcendence of archaic ways-of-thinking/cultural and ethical taboos going full-circle in character development from start-to-finish on its major character-of-a-lifetime. Make no mistake though, Borat is foremost a comedy: a piss-take mockumentary so raunchily hilarious by the hand of its ‘very nice’ and grammatically-nightmare protagonist/performance by Sacha Baron Cohen, it succeeds in finding the funny in non-funny topics [if you can loosen up and smile like the ‘old man’ was told, a prospect for the eye of the beholder]. A road trip through America & satirization-prism for racism, sexism, and Middle Eastern/U.S.-thematized bigotry, Borat is a voracious, veracious, versatile politically-incorrect comedy mockumentary amongst the best of the early-2000’s – narrated by a career performance/character by ambitious funnyman Sacha Baron Cohen.

Official CLC Score: 9/10