Wednesday, March 30, 2011

991. Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan (2006)

Running Time: 84 minutes
Directed By: Larry Charles
Written By: Sacha Baron Cohen, Anthony Hines, Peter Baynham, Dan Mazer
Main Cast: Sacha Baron Cohen, Ken Davitian

Note: I wanted to jump in real quick, before we get on with "IT" and make a few notes. 1) If anyone, has any idea what in the blue hell is wrong with my blog, please HELP! It seems to be spacing itself and in my previous three posts (and probably this one too) there are spaces where I didn't intend for there to be spaces, notably between "Running Time", "Directed By", "Written By" and "Main Cast" and at the bottom between "MOVIES WATCHED" and "MOVIES LEFT TO WATCH". When I'm looking at the post, prior to hitting publish, it looks exactly how I want it to post, but upon pressing "POST" it spaces itself out and no matter how many times I click "EDIT" and fix it, it reverts back to it's messed up ways. So, in conclusion, please help...if you can. 2) Just so you know where we stand with this whole project, my plans right now are for me to have 301 films watched by June 19th. That gives me two entire months plus nineteen days to watch 60 films...Do you think I can do it?


My original plans called for me to come home from work today and watch "Laura". However, after watching about ten minutes and I realized that I was much too exhausted to give the film the attention that it deserved. Furthermore I needed something that required next to no thought at all...and thus "Borat..." became my movie choice.

The plot of "Borat..." is basically non-existent, but I'll re-tell it to you as best I can. Borat Sagdiyev (Cohen), a Kazakh T.V. personality decides to head to the "U.S. and A" to make a documentary and learn the ways of the Western world. Allow me to break away for a second and fill you in, in case you don't know the whole "thing" about "Borat..." - Basically there are only two actors in the film, Borat and his producer Azamat Bagatov (Davitian), and the rest of the people are giving real reactions, to whom they believe to be a real Kazakhi. Borat arrives in New York City and gets humor tips from a humor coach, chases down strangers on the streets in order to greet them and give them a "hello" kiss and gets driving lessons from an instructor. His "modus operandi" is changed when he's watching television in his hotel and beholds the "beauty" that is Pamela Anderson. He changes his plans and convinces Azamat to go to California to continue their documentary, although his real intentions are to find Pamela and make her his wife.

I'll TRY to keep this short. While watching "Borat...", I'll admit that there were times that I DID laugh out loud and I'll admit that Sacha Baron Cohen IS funny. However, this is absolutely NOT something that belongs side by side with the classics that it is rubbing shoulders with in the "1001" book. I won't fault the film maker's of "Borat..." for lack of originality, because the whole concept of the film IS original, but really in the end the whole film is nothing more than an experiment. This isn't the first time I've seen "Borat..." and actually the first time that I did see it, I liked it enough to run out and buy it on DVD. Upon rewatching it today, I'll never understand my initial love for the film, because while it is funny, it's extremely class-less and I honestly feel guilty for even laughing at this movie.

I'm not Jewish, but damn they took some hardcore cracks at the Jewish community, that would have even Mel Gibson up in arms. Aside from the very anti-Semitic tones of the film, the whole thing just feels really cheap and tawdry and pile on the naked wrestling between Borat & Azamat and by the end, it's just too much. I think I've gotten my point across, so no need to ramble on.

RATING: 4.5/10 I laughed, so it gets some credit, but there are PLENTY of other, better films out there that will give you an honest to goodness laugh.


March 30, 2011 8:34pm


  1. Well, I suppose we had to come to this at sometime...
    Much as I dislike doing so, I am going to make one point in it's favour.. It is not an anti-semitic move.. the point is to mock, deride, the anti semtic incidents and thye views. By behaving in such a way, and expressing those views SBC is trying to show us quite how offensive they are. The same applies to the way he leads bigoted people on to make offensive comments.
    But that said.. it is not a nice film. The nude wrestling etc etc has no point at all, and is just their to apeal to the core demographic of these films.. drunk, immature young males showing off to their mates. Sure, SBC is making valid points, but they are so lost in all the offensive material he no-doubt claims to be lampooning, that point is lost.
    4.5 is far to high (IMHO), but at least you didn't spoil a cracking classic like Laura by watching it with less than full attention..

  2. After giving it some thought and reading your comment, I guess the argument could be made that it's not an anti-semitic film, due to the fact that the character of Borat is kind of a moron, in general. Therefore, we have someone who isn't all that bright, making anti-semitic comments and maybe the point is that only someone this unintelligent would make these statements. Thanks for all the comments Ray, as always they are much appreciated!


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