Wednesday, July 22, 2009

REVIEW: Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan

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

Year: 2006
Director: Larry Charles
Starring: Sacha Baron Cohen, Ken Davitian, Pamela Anderson
Distributor: 20th Century Fox
MPAA: Rated R

Borat. Everyone remembers Sacha Baron Cohen’s 2006 movie Borat; his first theatrical release and the first time the US was ‘officially’ introduced to Sacha Baron Cohen’s creative mind. I myself remember watching the trailer a bunch of times laughing at the jokes… and they never got old, even after watching the movie in theatres. So with the release of Cohen’s second movie, Brüno, I thought it would be appropriate to write a review for Borat.

Plot Outline:
The movie follows Borat Sagdiyev (Sacha Baron Cohen), who is hired by his native country, Kazakhstan to travel to the United States and document American society and culture. He is joined by a producer, Azamat Bagatov (Ken Davitian), who is there to organize meetings between various people and groups in order to get a better understanding of the American way of life. The movie is filmed in a documentary-type style with Borat narrating throughout the movie about his discoveries.

Up on arrival into the United States, the producer’s plan is to stay within the city limits to gather the data they need. Borat begins to meet with various groups, but their plan soon changes when Borat, while watching TV, begins watching Baywatch and falls in love with Pamela Anderson’s character, C.J. Parker. All plans are thrown out of the window, and Borat begins planning his trip from New York City to California. Azamat falls for Borat’s lie that California is where the real American life is, so he goes along. Throughout the way, they stop at different states and visit a gay parade and a chance to sing the anthem at bull show in Texas. They eventually hit financial trouble… but that doesn't stop Borat from reaching his goal of finding ‘C.J. Parker’.

Not too many actors in this movie. Sacha Baron Cohen is without a doubt the star of the movie, taking on the role of Borat. He does a fantastic job doing so, everything from the way he looks to how he talks… I found it to be perfect. Not once did he break out of character, even in the most ‘intense’ parts of the movie. Ken Davitian plays Azamat, the producer and he also does a great job being in character and attempting to get Borat to follow the specific plan they had. Pamela Anderson plays a very small role in the movie, but there’s really nothing to write about that.

The picture quality in the movie was actually pretty good to my surprise. Scenes are impressive in their sharpness and depth, and colors are often vivid. You can also tell that some grain was added to give the film that low-budget-documentary look to it, and I think it adds authenticity to the movie.

There’s not much to say here. With a budget of only $18 million, there probably wasn't much left to put into the sound production. The movie itself is usually without any music. The music that is there is supposed to resemble Kazakhstanian culture.

Borat isn't a movie for everyone, some find it hilarious while some find it offensive and disrespectful… personally, I loved every bit of it and would love to see Cohen reprise the role of Borat once again. His acting is absolutely fantastic. The video quality is pretty good for a movie with such a low budget. Overall, this is one of the best comedy movies in recent time. “It’s nice!”

Grade: A-


Farzan said...

Good review Alex, I also very much enjoyed this film. I thought it was pretty damn hilarious when I saw it in theaters. That naked wrestling scene is still tattooed in my head. Id give the movie a solid B+.

Andrew The Dark said...

Borat is hella funny. Much funnier than Bruno, but I still laughed pretty hard at some of the stuff in Bruno