Wednesday, November 08, 2006

MOVIE REVIEW: Borat - Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan

I saw Borat the other day and before I begin I think it is important for everyone to know that Sacha Baron Cohen, who portrays Borat onscreen, is actually Jewish. Now I don't want that fact to ruin the movie for everyone. But having that knowledge going into the movie makes what he does ironic and funny and his seemingly real interactions with Americans across the heartland very frustrating and downright scary. As you may or may not know Sacha Baron Cohen is also Ali G from the HBO show Da Ali G Show where Borat and other strange characters were born. The film was fun and I laughed my ass off through most if not all of the movie. As those that have seen it can attest I, like I am sure, many others were disturbed by the naked wrestling, but we'll get to that.

Borat Sagdiyev (Sacha Baron Cohen) is a journalist from the glorious nation of Kazakhstan who is sent by his country to make a documentary about his travels in the United States. He is joined by I think it was a Kazakhstan representative Azamat Bagatov (Ken Davitan) who helps Borat film the documentary and has some very amusing scenes as he attempts to produce this very low budget documentary.

Anyway the whole Documentary seems to go awry when Borat becomes obsessed with Pamela Anderson and takes the film crew on the road to literally go and bag the blonde bombshell. Now as I mentioned above Cohen is Jewish and his style of comedy relies on the uncomfortability of others as well as revealing anti-semitic and racist feelings in his subjects. These parts, while funny, were somewhat unsettling at times as Borat asked a gun owner about which gun he should choose to kill Jews. The owner didn't skip a beat in telling him which weapon would be suitable if he, you know, wanted to kill a Jew. There was also a cowboy at a rodeo that thought Borat looked like Saddam Hussein with his mustache and told him he had better shave it off because he, quote, "Looked like a terrorist." Then the cowboy went on a ten minute rant about hanging Muslims and gay people. It was very telling. At first I thought Borat had made it to Texas for the rodeo but when they showed the map later it was really just outside of Washington D.C. Apparently stupid bigoted ass holes are closer than we think. There was also a group of frat boys from South Carolina. They are now suing Cohen for how they were represented in the film. They aren't giving their names in the lawsuit but if you saw the movie you will remember their faces. They also used racial and sexist slurs and were on the whole pretty stupid. They are claiming the Mel Gibson defense that the film crew liquored them up and only through intoxication did they spew hate. Um, yeah I don't think this will stand up too well in court. Also there was a great bit in a Born Again Christian church that made Borat seem normal. They tried to exercise the demon inside Borat with the compelling power of Christ, funny yes and again equally disturbing.

Personally I loved Borat and his broken English and terrible faux pas. The only problem I had was again the naked wrestling. I won't go into great detail but--damn. It was probably the most disgusting thing I have ever seen. It lasted at least ten minutes and it was the longest ten minutes of the entire movie. Sure it was funny if you were able to keep your eyes on the action but um, it was really disturbing. Have you ever seen that movie Women In Love, don't let the title deceive you there is a scene where Oliver Reed wrestles with this other dude naked on a bearskin rug, very gross. Yeah, so the Borat vs. Aramat naked fight was ten times worse. These dudes were hairier then--yeah we'll just stop there. So go and see Borat and remember to keep your eyes closed for the ten minute naked hairy beast wrestle. Trust me on this one you'll thank me later.

Grade: 4 Buckets


Speck said...

Naked wrestling was one of the downright funniest and most shocking things I've ever seen.

I wouldn't say it was digusting or disturbing, but just unbelievable that a man would do this in the name of simply getting a laugh.

Now, that the author has been exposed for being as much of a homophobe in his writings as the people ousted in Borat...he might scroll down and realize I reviewed the movie over a week and a half ago. bastard.

G.I. Jeff said...

Two things Specky--I can't even imagine a gay man enjoying that naked hairy wrestle fest. One of em put their hairy pubes in the other's face. Only you would really enjoy something like that. So no I don't think I'm a homophobe. I did realize you posted it a week ago but at least I didn't phone it in.

Take that!!

P.S. I waited to post my Prestige review for you so don't be an ass.

Captain Mike said...

Jeff hates gay people.