Tuesday, March 20, 2007



Staring: Sacha Baron Cohen, Ken Davitian, Luenell
Director: Larry Charles

I’ve been sidetracked lately, so I totally missed this when the DVD came out, so here it is.

Personally I enjoyed the film, but I can not for the life of me "see" most of the things that Cohen was supposed to have exposed about Americans. Now before the typical response that I didn't "see" it because it went over my head, I'd like to point out that a response like that only shows how ignorant many of the people viewing this film already were when making judgments about Americans.

Do people not realize that this is exactly what Cohen did to BRITISH people for nearly 5 years before coming to HBO? Far longer than he "exposed ignorance" about Americans? People are alike all over, and if some Frenchman parodied, say, an American around Germany in the same fashion as Borat, the results would generally be the same. If you think anti-Semitism is somehow only a problem in America, then you've obviously never been to Europe or the Middle East.

I actually think the effect this movie had on people is a lot more interesting than what happened in the film. It has exposed a great number of peoples intolerant perceptions of Americans, along with a number of people who appear to be some sort of self-loathing American, who assume that anyone south of the obsolete "Mason-Dixon line" is overly religious, ignorant, racist, and just a bigot through and through. These are the people who have really shown their true colors, as they're willing to marginalize an entire nation with a population larger than, and just as diverse as Western Europe, as ignorant hicks.

They seem quick to ignore the situations that many of the people were in. Just remember Borat's rantings about being a "Gypsy who shrinks people"; or when he destroyed objects that can never be replaced in a person's antique store; insults people who were kind enough to show up and be interviewed by him; insults people at a dinner party by saying horrible things to the other guests, then brings feces to the table, and finishes the evening off by bringing a hooker to the party; later he "jokingly" demonizes the Jewish couple who runs the B&B.

From what I remember, pretty much everything that Borat does before he goes on his road trip was done to get a reaction from the interviewee. Personally this is when Boart is best, as a gauge to see how over the top he can get before someone gets ticked off, and not as a so-called "intolerance gauge".

Sure there's the racist, homophobic Rodeo guy, and the racist, misogynistic, moronic frat boys (who were apparently given loads of alcohol by the crew so they'd say even more ridiculous things, and no, in vino veritas is not true), when you actually pay attention to the film, most of the people who are in it are just oblivious to what's going on and have just reached the end of their incredibly long fuse when dealing with Borat.

The entire premise that this is some “brilliant” work of art are the same kinds of fools who used The Matrix in deep philosophical discussions about what reality really is. It’s a funny, silly movie and nothing more.

Verdict: ***/*****

1 comment:

Matt Ramone said...

If anything, I think it showed how tolerant Americans can be towards what they assume are cultural differences and how polite people are willing to be in the name of PC. Yeah, some rodeo dude hates Muslims and frat boys act like morons. This does not an expose make. The real genius of this movie is how jaw-droppingly funny it is and how Cohen wrangled such a brilliant performance out of nothing but first takes.