Borat (2006)

Movie Title: Borat

Year Released: 2006

Rated: R

Runtime: 1h 24min

Genre: Comedy, Mockumentary

Director: Larry Charles

Writer: Sacha Baron Cohen, Anthony Hines, Peter Baynham, Dan Mazer

Starring: Sacha Baron Cohen, Ken Davitian, Luenell, Pamela Anderson

Review: Outrageous situations occur when Borat Sagdiyev (Sacha Baron Cohen), a popular reporter from Kazakhstan, comes to the United States to film a documentary on what makes America a great nation. Along the way, he manages to offend just about everyone he meets, fall in love with actress Pamela Anderson, and set forth on a cross-country journey to make her his wife.

When Sacha Baron Cohen first introduced us to his character, Borat Sagdiyev, I legitimately thought it was the funniest thing I had ever seen. To be fair, seeing Borat in theatres with no knowledge of the character, amidst a mass horde of people in the same boat, made for some hysterical, genuine laughter that I hadn't experienced with any other movie-going experience. Re-watching it years later, the comedy still holds up, the gags are absolutely hilarious, but some of the shock value is lost given I had already witnessed the absurd trials and tribulations of Borat traversing across the United States. When you know what is coming, some of the initial visceral reactions are lost. The whole shtick of Borat Sagdiyev is to satirically critique and expose some of the social issues we have in the United States through a mockumentary style of filmmaking. To say that it is controversial, unnerving, and offensive to some folks is an understatement. But the acting, writing, and social situations in which Borat finds himself are nothing short of hilarious. The comedy is crude and tasteless on its surface, but also an eye-opening indictment on some of the ill-informed thought processes of the general public. Sometimes it's hard to decipher whether people are offended by how crude this film is or that they see some of the poor, unsuspecting souls being duped in the film in themselves.

This movie IS NOT for everyone, so please tread with caution. If you're unfamiliar with the character, or have no knowledge of this film, you'll either find this film wildly funny or wildly offensive. There's really no in-between. Borat is a no-holds-barred satirical comedy mockumentary that offends just about every group of people imaginable. Borat Sagdiyev is an equal-opportunity offender. If you feel like you're up for the task, strap in and prepare for one wild ride.

Stars (out of 4):

Fun Fact: The police were called on Sacha Baron Cohen 92 times during the production of this film.


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