Friday, March 30, 2007

Borat - High Five!

I saw Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan on DVD the other day. I've been a fan of Sacha Baron Cohen's Da Ali G Show for many years so I knew what to expect.

Borat is sent to the USA by Kazakh TV to report on the 'greatest country in the world'. The film is about a journey across the United States in an ice cream van, in which Borat is obsessed with the idea of marrying Pamela Anderson. Along the way he meets and interviews many citizens of the USA who all display various sexist, homophobic, anti-Semitic, racist or jingoistic characteristics.

I wasn't that impressed with Ali G's move to the big screen in Ali G Indahouse back in 2002. While the Ali G character is great at the short interview I felt the character failed to work in a fictional full-length movie. Baron Cohen, however, succeeds with the Borat character in this movie because it is filmed as a mockumentary (fake documentary) and allows him to use his hilarious interview style to hold a mirror up to USA culture and society.

One of the funniest, and most cringe-worthy, parts of the film is when Borat wrestles naked with his obese producer, Azamat Bagatov, in their hotel room. You gotta see it to believe it.

An interview that had me laughing was from the DVD extras which unfortunately wasn't shown in the movie. Borat is in a doctor's office explaining various sexually-transmitted diseases he has had. Link to video.

Borat: I once catch Herpes from my sister.

Doctor: That means you had sexual relations with your sister?

Borat: Yes!

Doctor: And is that usual in your country?

Borat: Only on the Feast of Shurik.

Doctor: Did you have sexual relations with any other family members?

Borat: No, I am not sick.

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