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

DVD Cover (Twentieth Century Fox)
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Overall Rating 73%
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Ranked #312
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Kazakh TV talking head Borat is dispatched to the United States to report on the greatest country in the world. With a documentary crew in tow, Borat becomes more interested in locating and marrying Pamela Anderson. --IMDb
Review by bluemeanie
Added: October 03, 2006
Sneak previews are a wonderful thing. And, while I was unable to catch "Borat" last week during the huge global MySpace premiere, Birmingham, Alabama, received its own sneak preview of the film last night and I was front and center for what unfolded. I first became familiar with Sacha Baron Cohen in 2002 when I was in London. His film "Ali G Indahouse" was everywhere - on posters and billboards and television - literally everywhere I turned. When I returned home, that was when he started taking on in the states. I never enjoyed his show, and never really watched much of it, especially his character Borat. This is a shame. "Borat" turned out to be probably the funniest film I have ever seen. It also probably turned out to be the most offensive and insanely vicious film I have ever seen. I found myself literally laughing so loudly, I probably would annoyed everyone else around me, if they hadn't also been laughing just as hard as I was. "Borat" is a genuine delight, a real edgy comedy, and the best thing to come around in ages. It has already made by end of the year list, and could possibly top it, with more thought and consideration. It is rare when a comedy makes me laugh this hard. "Anchorman" was probably the last comedy to do so, and "Borat" makes that film look pedestrian in almost every way. "Borat" is the best comedy in over a decade.

Sacha Baron Cohen stars as Borat Sagdiyev, a television journalist in his native country of Kazakhstan. We first Borat introducing us to his family - his sister, his mother-in-law, his wife and his asshole neighbor. We never officially meet his retarded brother. Borat is hired by his country to travel to the United States and document his adventure so that his people might learn more about America, and vice versa. Along with him for the ride is his cameraman Azamat Bagatov (Ken Davitian) and his pet chicken. Beginning in New York City, Borat eventually develops of a fascination with "Baywatch" star Pamela Anderson and decides to travel to Los Angeles in order to marry her, a journey that takes him through Virginia, Georgia, Alabama, Texas, and various other locales, all along his way to meet the beautiful blond. Some of the more humorous moments involve Borat's visit to a yard sale, where he confronts someone he assumes is a gypsy, and his trip to a bed and breakfast owned and operated by an old Jewish couple. Cohen's ambush-style tactics lead to some real shock laughs, especially when you consider that most of these people really think he is Borat, and not an actor. You accept certain sequences as staged, because you know Cohen would have likely arrested and sued for doing what he does, but most looks authentic, and most probably is. This is what separates this kind of comedy from every other comedy in the market today.

This was a film that never let up - from beginning to end, you find yourself laughing hysterically and sometimes feeling terrible for doing so. Cohen pokes fun at everyone. No one is left unoffended, from referring to African Americans as 'chocolate faces' to referring to Jews as 'horned devils' to his continuous verbal abuse of women and individuals with mental handicaps. But, that is how this kind of comedy should be. If you single out a group, you will be called on it. If you terrorize every group, you are less likely to be labeled a racist or a bigot. Even the gays and the evangelical Christians are targeted in two of the funniest scenes in the film. Director Larry Charles, who has directed a great deal of "Curb Your Enthusiasm" is still in his element here, and he takes the same kind of approach with "Borat" as he often does with Larry David on the television show. "Borat" uses Larry Charles' ability to its fullest extent, but you have to believe that Cohen probably had more of a directorial input that Charles' ever had. This is all Cohen's baby. He is what makes the film work, and it is his energy and passion that make the character offensive, and totally lovable.

Speaking of Cohen, I don't see how a performance like this could be ignored come Oscar time. You are probably questioning my sanity right now, but it is the truth. This was the single greatest male acting performance of the year, especially when you consider how versatile this guy is. "Borat" took an exceptional amount of talent, and patience, and perfection to nail, and Cohen does it. He convinces these people that he is this foreigner and he is so convincing that we believe it too. Most people are shocked when they see Cohen on talk shows and see how different he is from the character he portrays. That is true talent and he should be rewarded. I also thoroughly enjoyed Ken Davitian as his overweight friend, especially when Borat catches Azamar having 'relations' with his Pamela Anderson magazine and is forced to do terrible things that I will not reveal. Needless to say, it is a scene that will live in the mind of all audience members for a long time to come.

Personally, this film just rocked my socks off. I cannot wait until it hits theatres so I can see it again and take everyone I know to see it multiple times. "Borat" is one of the funniest and most genuinely delightful comedies I have ever seen, and it is one of the best motion picture experiences I have had all year long. Sacha Baron Cohen is a comedic genius and this film alone makes me want to give his other work another try. But, I will deliver this warning. This film is not for children. You are subjected to everything from terrible language to some of the most obscene and disgusting nudity you could ever want to see on film. Cohen leaves no resource untapped in his quest to make you lose your lunch in a non-grossout humor way. "Borat" is amazing. See for yourself...without the kids.

bluemeanie #1: bluemeanie - added 10/05/2006, 04:23 PM
Sayeth BORAT: "Do not fear me, Gypsy. I have come for your tears. If you do not give them to me, I will take them."
BuryMeAlive #2: BuryMeAlive - added 11/27/2006, 11:13 AM
It was funny when I saw it in cinemas, but I'm not sure I will enjoy it more or less if I see it a second time.
Crispy #3: Crispy - added 01/25/2007, 11:03 AM
I have a feeling me and sobriety are going to have to part ways for a night before I hit this one.
BuryMeAlive #4: BuryMeAlive - added 04/16/2007, 04:59 PM
As I thought, it's not that funny after you have seen it before.
Kain #5: Kain - added 06/03/2007, 11:04 PM
In the eyes of the devout American, this film is inherently wrong in every way. Could anything else make it more right? Even if you are somehow not amused by it, and we all know there will be those bereft of the ability to laugh, it is very difficult to argue the quality of satire here. Borat is clever, original, offensive, and all the better for it. I agree completely that it is probably the best comedy of the year, and realistically, you only need to see it once. The scenes stuck so vividly in my mind that quotability quickly became one of those added benefits. The film does lose some of the shock that is indigenous to the first viewing, but even still, certain scenes simply cannot be witnessed by most human beings without warrenting a painfully intese laughter. Now even with the comedic aspect aside, the film as a cinematic entry is quite venerable if simply for the clever 'third world' feel of the imagery, credits, and music (and speaking of the music, jesus that theme song...). The dvd's fabulous menu screen alone is enough for a hearty laugh, and while on that subject, the deleted scenes are something to be treasured by anyone who claims to be a fan of humor. Without remorse I readily purchased this film, and received a complimentary "GLORIOUS KHAZAKHSTAN" shirt that has become a regular in my wardrobe. Ah marketing... Anyway, I will recommend this film for anyone really (save for "rah America" patriots and college frat boys), as you will probably end up with strengthened abs and leaky eyes...

Edd #6: Edd - added 06/03/2007, 11:29 PM
Definately in my top 5 best comedies of all time.
Cryptorchild #7: Cryptorchild - added 10/20/2007, 06:34 PM
Funniest movie to come out since Super Troopers.
Crispy #8: Crispy - added 03/31/2008, 01:44 PM
Well, it was better than I expected, but that isn't saying much. Sure it had a few really funny gags, but that's all it was, one gag after another, and towards the end they started to get a bit repetitive. I'd go somewhere around a high 4.
Tristan #9: Tristan - added 03/31/2008, 03:29 PM
4? Are you kidding? I'm not even going to get into it with you, as I simply don't have the energy. 9/10
bluemeanie #10: bluemeanie - added 03/31/2008, 04:20 PM
4/10...??? Retarded. Just retarded. I repeat -- 10/10.
Crispy #11: Crispy - added 03/31/2008, 09:53 PM
4 was generous. I'm not saying it wasn't funny, but that is ridiculous.
bluemeanie #12: bluemeanie - added 04/01/2008, 10:15 AM
Seems like you've jumped on the whole 'cool to hate this movie'. Any time a film starts out as kind of an underground cult fave and then turns into this mainstream success, people find it 'cool' and 'hip' to slam the movie. "The Blair Witch Project" suffered the same backlash. One minute, the film is this masterpiece, the next minute everyone wants to talk about how lame it is. Ever think your enjoyment of the film was influenced by your waiting so damned long to see it, after all of the hoopla? Well, I am sure it was. If this didn't make you laugh more -- no film can. It's hopeless.
Crispy #13: Crispy - added 04/01/2008, 05:49 PM
You accusing me of not liking it because I'm on a bandwagon is one of the most laughable things I've ever heard. In fact, it's almost an inside joke among my friends that I like a lot of things that go against the grain from everyone else. I just don't like 'over the top' comedy. I haven't since I was 14. I can't stand Dane Cook, I can't stand Will Ferrel, and I had a sinking suspicion from day one that I probably wasn't going to like this one, and like I said, I enjoyed it more than I had thought I would despite going in actively thinking I was going to hate it. I'm horribly sorry if you can't get past the fact that we have different senses of humor, but I'm sure you'll be all right.
bluemeanie #14: bluemeanie - added 04/02/2008, 10:25 AM
No, one of the most laughable things is you comparing "Borat" to Will Ferrell and Dane Cook -- HA!
Nirrad #15: Nirrad - added 05/01/2008, 02:31 PM
9/10 for me. This movie was hilarious. Although it did start to get a little stale and boring later on, but I still enjoyed it.
Strait Killa #16: Strait Killa - added 11/13/2008, 07:39 PM
4/10? Yeah, that sounds about right. Almost everything 385 said about this, I'd agree with
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