Borat Subsequent Moviefilm (2020)

Movie Title: Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

Year Released: 2020

Rated: R

Runtime: 1h 36min

Genre: Comedy, Mockumentary

Director: Jason Woliner

Writer: Peter Baynham, Sacha Baron Cohen, Jena Friedman, Anthony Hines, Lee Kern, Dan Mazer, Erica Rivinoja, Dan Swimer

Starring: Sacha Baron Cohen, Maria Bakalova, Dani Popescu, Tom Hanks, Manuel Vieru

Review: Released from prison for bringing shame to his country, Kazakh funnyman Borat Sagdiyev (Sacha Baron Cohen) risks life and limb when he returns to America with his 15-year-old daughter, Tutar (Maria Bakalova). While battling the COVID-19 pandemic and the events leading up to the U.S. Presidential Election, Borat attempts to present Tutar to Vice President Mike Pence as his wife in an effort to restore glory to his homeland.

Borat Subsequent Moviefilm is the long-awaited sequel to the wildly controversial, yet wildly hilarious mockumentary, Borat. The antecedent moviefilm excelled in large part due to its fantastic writing and its unabashed shock value. While the subsequent moviefilm has a lot of shock value to go around, this movie also has a lot more heart than its predecessor. Now, Borat Sagdiyev is a father. And while the premise initially suggests that Borat must gift his daughter, Tutar, to American Vice President Mike Pence; the film ultimately ends up being a really heartwarming tale of a dad connecting with his ambitious daughter. Don't get me wrong, there are still plenty of silly gags and wild scenes that push the boundaries of what is acceptable cinema. What makes this film great is that the comedy stems a lot from what America is enduring during 2020. Two big events are at the forefront of this film: the American Presidential Election and the COVID-19 pandemic.

I know what many of you may be thinking. You've been beat over the head enough by both of these things, but I promise you this film is well worth the watch. Now, depending on where you land on the political spectrum, you'll either find this film incredibly funny, or it will probably have you seething with untethered rage. Let's all remember, that this is the Borat Sagdiyev shtick. It's very heavy on the political satire. Sacha Baron Cohen took a ton of risks to get this film made, and you can't help but applaud his efforts. The breakout star here is Maria Bakalova, who plays Tutar. She put herself in plenty of uncomfortable and vulnerable situations, but played the role with wonderful composure. She admitted that there were scenes that made her very nervous, but that she trusted that everything would be ok. Some of these scenes really pushed the envelope and if she really were nervous, you really couldn't tell. The end result was great chemistry between Bakalova and Baron Cohen, and well-executed comedy.

We must offer the same disclaimer as the first film. This is not for everyone, but if you liked Borat, then I imagine you will also like Borat Subsequent Moviefilm. Borat Sagdiyev strikes again with more controversy, more heart, and more absurdities. It's "Very nice!"

Stars (out of 4):

Fun Fact: Sacha Baron Cohen speaks all of his lines in Hebrew, but with a thick Eastern European accent. Maria Bakalova speaks all of her lines in her native Bulgarian, and Dani Popescu speaks all of his lines in Romanian. This is a recurring joke that despite all speaking different languages, they all seemingly understand each other. All of this is to point out that American audiences can't notice the difference in foreign languages.


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