This Is an Awful, Awful Movie … Not!

10 Oct

If Borat is so wrong, then why does it feel so right?

Alright, maybe that’s not exactly what I want to say about the movie (its actual name is Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan, but damn, this is simultaneously one of the funniest and one of the most offensive movies I have ever seen.

If you don’t know, Borat is a character played by the British comic Sacha Baron Cohen who is supposed to be a television reporter from Kazakhstan.

Basically, the movie is a mockumentary of Borat’s exploits as he travels across the U.S., first in pursuit of knowledge about America and then in pursuit of Pamela Anderson (really).

And Borat is naive, totally clueless, and without social graces, so this makes for some great comedy.

But Borat is also an anti-semite and a misogynist and a homophobe and a racist and, well, do you need more? So there are parts of the movie that just made me cringe and recoil with horror.

If you’ve heard anything about this movie, maybe you’ve heard of the scene early on that shows “The Running of the Jews.” Well, bad as that sounds, it’s nothing compared to what the Jew — and the Mrs. Jew — actually looks like.

Totally uncool stuff, as is the reference to the Jews being responsible for 9/11 and the scene where Borat thinks a nice Jewish couple has turned into a couple of cockroaches, and he throws money at them to shoo them away.

So you may think I’m also an anti-semite or a self-hating Jew when I tell you how funny the rest of the movie is. And I swear, it’s the funniest movie I’ve seen since, well, Jackass: Number Two a couple days ago — but that’s not the point.

I don’t want to ruin any of the scenes or the lines or the gags because so many of them are just classic.

And Cohen (yes, he’s actually Jewish) doesn’t just act; he is this character. Call it a performance if you want, but it’s like Borat is actually a real person.

Yes, Pamela Anderson is in the movie.

Yes, you will fall out of your seat when you see what Borat does when he sees her.

And yes, you will be amazed when Borat is over that Cohen got away with as much as he did and that a film studio (even if it is Fox) is releasing the movie (on November 3) — and is selling it in press materials as “hilariously offensive.”

I know this movie is not going to be for everyone. And I hope beyond hope that people in the southern red states don’t take it too literally (though scenes in the movie do show they might).

But if you buy into it as satire and nothing more, then you’ll agree that Borat is one of the classic comedies of all time.

The guys I was sitting next to (who work for one of the local papers) walked out comparing this to Spinal Tap. How’s that for an endorsement?

I give Borat an A–.

6 Responses to “This Is an Awful, Awful Movie … Not!”


  1. I’ve Got Nothing « Martin's Musings - March 30, 2012

    […] In the meantime, go see Borat. […]

  2. In or Aus? « Martin's Musings - May 18, 2012

    […] Baron Cohen’s Borat was so over-the-top good that his next film was bound to pale by […]

  3. Just What America Needs? « Martin's Musings - May 18, 2012

    […] actually shares quite a bit of fakery with other mockumentaries, such as Sasha Baron Cohen’s Borat or […]

  4. A Letter to Sacha Baron Cohen « Martin's Musings - May 19, 2012

    […] most of America first met you in the film Borat, your brand of comedy was new and […]

  5. bLISTerd: Best Road Trip Movies of All-Time: Top 10 | Popblerd!! - July 25, 2013

    […] fame and fortune, to follow the American dream, to go in search of love and romance, and many more. Borat fits neatly into the genre. It is, after all, a movie about a guy who criss-crosses America to meet […]

  6. The Times May Have Changed, But Borat Sure Hasn’t | Martin's Musings - October 21, 2020

    […] a household name. Sure, he’d appeared on Cohen’s Da Ali G Show. But with the release of Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan in 2006, the world saw a whole lot more of Borat’s bumbling, racist, Anti-Semitic journalist, […]

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