Thursday, June 23, 2016

991. Borat: The Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan

Borat: The Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan
Directed by Larry Charles

It's my own fault for getting cocky.  I was starting to think it was going to be hard to pick a Worst Picture for the 00s set.  Well, this just made things a little simpler.

Kazakh reporter Borat is sent to the USA to report on "the greatest country in the world."  When he arrives in New York, Borat sees an episode of Baywatch and desires to make Pamela Anderson his wife.  Hijinks ensue for eighty four insufferable minutes.

Look, I get the concept.  Sacha Baron Cohen acts like a racist, anti semitic, sexist asshole which encourages the real people he interviews to reveal their own prejudices.  Of course, I am sure that the majority of high school aged males aren't laughing at the exposed hypocrisy and ignorance.  Maybe for my own peace of mind I will pretend that everyone understands this is a satire.

No one is safe from Cohen's insults and disgusting jokes, so in the end it is only offensive to people with good taste.  Still, I found this to be incredibly dull and painful to sit through.

RATING: *----

Interesting Facts:

The police were called on Sacha Baron Cohen 92 times during filming.


  1. I agree. I also get (and, in some part, admire) the concept. Give the idiots a slight push, feed them a leading line to get them going and stand back and watch them reveal themselves .. But .. but, but but ..Sadly most of the audience of this stuff DON'T get it, they are howling along , late at night, pissed, at all the disgusting attitudes etc. And sadly, I have to give you that the target audience is male... At least I consider myself plenty old enough to rise above it and just be bored by the sickness..

    1. Exactly. I feel like the people who like this don't like it for the right reasons.

  2. I can't help but feel that this film didn't really work as the filmmakers must have hoped it would. How many of the subjects truly reveal themselves? He's rude to people at the dinner party, but they handle it pretty well so his continued goading just looks unnecessary rather than smartly outrageous or cleverly pushing their buttons.

    He gets picked up in a van by some drunk students on holiday, but did they really say anything that shocking? They got a bit carried away but not much and tried to create a party atmosphere. Mostly they were just trying to humour their new friend.

    He goes to a Kazakh village and is rude to them. There's no clever double-play involved (other than perhaps that the joke may be supposed to be on the viewer who laughs at them) and no luring them into bad behaviour that might make the mocking their just desserts. He's just rude to people who are trying to be nice and welcoming too him. Maybe it would be funny if they were also actors, but the whole point of the joke is that he's being offensive to real people.

    A very well performed character, I'll give him that (and I cried laughing watching him on the Ali G TV show - EG the cricket bit), but this fails on every other angle. It's almost as if they got all the footage back after three months filming, regretted that it hadn't worked out as planned, but been obliged to edit together the best 90mins they could as contractually obliged to the film company.

    The mock national anthem about potassium was quite funny. See, I can be balanced.

    1. I know what you mean. I am not sure what my reaction would have been to Borat if he talked to me (probably a mixture of fear and confusion) but I am not sure it would reflect my true a woman we kind of taught to nod and smile.

  3. Five minutes in, too disgusted to watch.Yech.