Borat: A Comedic Masterpiece, Best Comedy of '06!
by Alex Billington
November 4, 2006
This hasn't been a good year for comedies. Besides the independent gems Little Miss Sunshine, Clerks 2, and Thank You For Smoking, moviegoers have been offered one unoriginal comedy after another. Finally a unique and untouchably genuine movie is making its "big-screen debut" and earning the title of best comedy of 2006, hands down. In his self-titled debut, subtitled "Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan," Sacha Baron Cohen's wacky journalist Borat brings a full 84 minutes of pure comical genius and non-stop laughs.
I need to preface this by saying how amazed I am at how much the publicity and recognition of Borat has grown. Back in June while we were camping out at Superman Returns, we brought a cardboard cutout of Borat and no one knew who he was. Next came Comic-Con in July, where Borat came up on stage to talk, they showed a clip from the film, and we caught a special advance screening, yet there still wasn't any buzz. Only recently, with high-profile exposure including a cameo on last week's Saturday Night Live, has Borat has taken off. I applaud Fox and everyone who's assisted in making Borat one of the most talked-about movies this fall; the movie is well worth the hype!
Borat, a character impeccably crafted by Sacha Baron Cohen, is a television news journalist from Kazakhstan who travels to America to make a documentary about American life for his country. However this is all part of a ruse that Cohen uses to deliver a rather brutal commentary on our society. Upon arriving in New York City, Borat soon finds Baywatch playing on his hotel's television and immediately becomes obsessed with Pamela Anderson. After convincing his rather plump and equally hilarious producer Azamat Bagatov (portrayed by Ken Davitian), he buys a used ice cream truck and travels across the U.S. in search of his "future wife" Pamela Anderson.
Nearly every single scene in Borat, from its very start to the ending sing-a-long song of "O Kazakhstan," is absolutely hilarious. Scenes from Borat have generated massive response on YouTube since each one can stand alone as a funny vignette. This movie finally puts together endless amounts of comedy intertwined with a coherent and equally-enjoyable plot in the quest for Pamela Anderson. You'll have to go back and see it again multiple times just to make sure each scene is burned into your memory, because it's Borat's ridiculously naÃ¯ve sense of ethics, morality, and American life that creates such unforgettable moments.
Plenty of people will be offended, but this is a film that is not to be taken at face value. Cohen is Jewish himself yet he spends at least 30 minutes in Borat exclaiming, through what he believes is righteous, a blame on "the Jew" for nearly everything bad in this world. That offensive nature can't get the best of the audience, as it is the complete background for what makes this uniquely comedic. Only Cohen and his passionate portrayal of his characters, this time Borat, could pull off such offensive humor yet still lead the best comedy of the year. Heed that warning before you see it and instead of frowning, laugh at his confusion of society.
Borat is undoubtedly the best comedy of the year, although likely the most offensive as well. If you're aware of the offensive and yet joking nature of the character Borat going in, you'll leave with the complete experience that Borat has to offer, laughing from start to finish. Stop wasting time on the awful comedies that have come out this year so far; see what is the most original, absolutely hilarious, and perfectly characterized comedy movie of 2006: Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan.