Friday, December 15, 2006

Wowwee wow

Borat:Cultural Learnings of America Make Benefit for Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan
Rating: 8.5

I admit I am biased when it comes to this movie review. I love British comedian Sascha Baron Cohen. I admire the unabashed brazenness of his parodies. He will do anything, and I mean anything to bring his point home and get the laugh. Borat Sagdijev is one of the five characters he does pretty regularly. (You may have heard of his other famous character Ali G.)

In the movie, Cohen portrays Borat as a Kazakhstani journalist who has been commissioned by the government of his country to travel to America and learn as much as he can to benefit his beloved impoverished backward nation. In doing so, he becomes sidetracked when he encounters a photo of Baywatch star Pamela Anderson. He decides from then on to abandon his mission, and travel to California with his portly producer Azamat (Ken Davitian) in order to meet her and force her to marry him.

Along his journey, he encounters people from all walks of American citizenry. He meets with a comic coach. He has dinner with a group of Southern socialites. He encounters a trailer of drunken frat boys and decides to join in on their intoxication. We know now from the various lawsuits, that some of these people weren't entirely aware of what they were getting into when they signed on to be featured in the film. I'll leave that up to the judge to decide.

The second most outrageous scene (the most outrageous is too outrageous to describe) involves Borat singing his version of the national anthem in front of a rodeo audience in Texas. His version is more of a made up Kazhakstani national anthem to the tune of the American one. As a result, he is made to leave the state.

The whole movie is outrageous, mostly because it points out the egocentricity of many Americans. Despite the complete idiocy of Borat, nearly everyone he comes in contact with seems to attribute his behavior to him not being from America. He is treated with kindness is just about every situation until he pushes things just a little too far and they start to get wise that he may not be all there.

The movie is controversial to say the least. But, despite the controversy, Borat seems to have garnered the critics' attention. Cohen has been nominated for a Golden Globe for best actor in a comedy or musical and there is even Oscar buzz.

The DVD will surely be in high demand amongst the teenage male audience, which probably makes this the first movie in that category to be nominated for an award based on its merit. One thing is for sure. This is not the last you'll hear of Borat.

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