Tuesday 28 November 2006

Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan (2006) - ickleReview (cinema)

Borat Sagdiyev is another character creation by Sacha Baron Cohen, who gave us Ali G. Borat is a TV presenter from Kazakhstan who is sent by the Ministry of Information to make a documentary about America ("US and A [...] the greatest country in the world").

Along the way Baron Cohen in the character of Borat tries to be as offensive as possible to as many people as possible, including random New Yorkers walking the streets of Manhattan, veteran feminists, gays, blacks, Jews, women, college frat boys, polite dinner parties, a rodeo audience and, eventually, Pamela Anderson.

It's much like his short sketches from Da Ali G Show strung together with a flaky plot. It's a road trip movie with Pamela Anderson as the spur to cross coast to coast in a second-hand ice-cream van with his producer Azamat Bagatov (Ken Davitian) in tow.

There are many laughs in (or maybe at) this film, as well as a quite deflating poignant moment, but it needn't have tried to force a narrative out of it. Borat is much funnier when he's just causing havoc with people you're never really sure are in on the joke.

Nugget: the film suffers a little from over-exposure. I'd heard too many of the jokes and encounters in reviews on radio, TV, and in the press, weakening their impact on screen. (They're still funny, but they were funnier first time round.)

The official movie website, though, is a masterpiece.

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