See my review of the first 100 movies
Challenge started: 5/18/2020 Date Watched: 11/11/2020 Runtime: 1h36m Rating: R Watched on: Amazon Prime Rotten Tomatoes: %86 Imdb rating: 6.8 Genre: Comedy Directed by: Jason Woliner
Released from prison for bringing shame to his country, Kazakh funnyman Borat risks life and limb when he returns to America with his 15-year-old daughter.
Warning, spoilers and "controversy" ahead...
He's baaack! What can I say that hasn't been said by so many others? No, it's not as funny as the first one. Yes, it is clearly a product of the time, and as such, will surely be dated for future audiences. Maria Bakalova is fantastic in this! This review is more a review of other reviews I've seen... with some movie thoughts spliced in... if that makes any sense..
I guess what I most disagree with is the mediocrity I see coming out of other reviews. This movie, in my opinon, is exceptional. How often do you see a comedy that so directly reflects and satyrizes the present moment with such fearlessness and abandon?
There are really two movies here, and I think they are both remarkable. First, you have a silly, scripted Borat movie that is full of raunchy, and unabashedly crude humor. You've got pee pees, vageens and ainooses out the wewewawa. It is rough around the edges, purposefully so, and relies, perhaps too strongly, on shock value. That being said, I thought most of it was really funny. Particularly the debutante ball scene. (Yeah that was remarkable.)
But this brings us to the second film (within the film.) and this is the one that I think derides more ire and ambiguity than it really should. This is the part of the film they I see as the "reality tv" or "documentary" part of the film, in which they reflect society back on itself in both terrifyingly horrendous and, at least once, a surprisingly compassionate way. (Looking at you synagogue scene.)
What I don't see here is all the controversy that I keep hearing about. They are poking fun at people's, ideologies, and rhetoric that are absolutely incomprehensible and indefensible. (And yet we still have a President and a people who do.) I mean he gets a group of anti-masker, alt-righters, neo-conners, Proud Boys, Q-anonners, and white supremacists (Yes, there is a seig heil in there.) To sing along about injecting Obama, and Faucci with the "Wuhan flu" and chopping up journalists "like the Saudis do". ( Oh yes, insert good people on both sides argument...) That's so outrageous, and yet, it is so saddeningly the U.S. right now. (We're supposed to take these people seriously right?) Cohen and his team reflect this present moment in way that allows us to both laugh at, confront, and not be consumed by the grief and terror that we feel and wittness in our daily lives.
And then on top of that they literally con the President's personal lawyer into thinking he's going to get a hummer from a teenage reporter in a hotel room. (Just gonna say it, this guy, who has way too much power, should be a little more classy and less creepy folks. Expect more.)
It's incredible, the fearlessness that Cohen, Bakalova and the rest of the team show, and their comedy is both well executed and timely.
It's my hope that we, in the states, can watch this in a decade and laugh at how pathetic, and how over the top shit is in it's present moment. And hopefully we're not looking back, thinking what could've been? We are so frail now as a nation right now that Borat level absurdity is literally meshing with reality. (Yikes!)
Anyways, there ya go. I really liked this movie and highly reccomend it to anyone with half a brain or half a human heart. (Either works, both is great!) I'll give Borat Subsequent Moviefilm a 4 out of 5. Find me on letterboxd