Borat

[Amazon Link] [3.5
stars] [IMDb Link]

Or, the full title: Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan. The film's premise, in case you don't know: Borat comes to America to make a documentary, becomes infatuated with Pamela Anderson after watching an episode of Baywatch, decides to road-trip it out to LA, runs into a lot of actual non-actor people along the way (who are not clued into what's really going on with the movie) and gets them to behave amusingly.

I was prepared to maybe dislike this movie for the reason David Brooks pointed out (quoted here):

The genius of Sacha Baron Cohen's performance is his sycophantic reverence for his audience, his refusal to challenge the sacred cows of the educated bourgeoisie. During the movie, Borat ridicules Pentecostals, gun owners, car dealers, hicks, humorless feminists, the Southern gentry, Southern frat boys, and rodeo cowboys. A safer list it is impossible to imagine.
He's right, of course.

I went into the movie knowing that, though, and still had a pretty good time. The title character is bigoted, vulgar, and ignorant, but still manages a naive sweetness, which is kind of a neat trick. I found myself smiling most of the way through, and laughing out loud a number of times. So there, David Brooks.

I seem to recall there was some controversy about the ways in which the movie's targets were deceived into behaving the ways they did. In addition, it's a certain bet the movie was creatively edited to give the impression the filmmakers wanted. I think finding out more about that would decrease my retrospective amusement, so I've avoided researching the topic.


Last Modified 2012-10-19 2:25 PM EDT