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It was alright except for the many stereotypes.

  • Apr 3, 2007
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Rating:
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Finally had the opportunity to watch this and try to understand the hype surrounding this. After viewing this I thought it was silly to an extent regarding these culture clashes. The way the film is made is quite unorthodox because there are few actors and the main part of characters are people who really think they are talking to a reporter from Kazakhstan, just a candid camera. It is not surprising the huge controversy aroused as some of the people tricked into the 'documentary' have already sued Cohen.

The film is funny and you will sure laugh at one stage or another. But there are many clich├ęs and stereotypes that Cohen uses as he wishes presenting a subjective vision of society. First of all, he could have used a fake country instead of Kazakhstan. It would not been so easy to trick some of the 'victims' into the 'movie film' but the comical effect would have been the same without offending anyone. Just like Molvania from the guys of the hilarious travel guides from Jetlag Travel (from which I think Cohen gets some of the inspiration).

Then, there is the Jew issue. Although Borat (and all Kazakhstan according to the movie) is afraid of Jews and hates them profoundly, the film is not offensive to Jews at all. Jews pictured in the film are very nice people and the display of hatred against Jewish is so over stated and absurd that the irony is far from subtle. It cannot be any other way as Cohen is a Jew himself. However this is used as excuse: "Look, I'm laughing at me making jokes about Jews... now I am legitimated to laugh at anyone as I wish".

The target of Cohen criticism is clear, the white Christian traditional southern people. He laughs at some evangelists in a church, high class republican southern people, drunk college guys, people attending a Rodeo... using sometimes hidden and sometime obvious insults, always protected by a camera and the "I am from another culture, you should be respectful". Some of the people pictured could be idiots but you can find idiots in every single community in the world. In fact, outside the USA the film has been taken as an opportunity to laugh at those type of Americans. The rhythm of the movie is a little uneven with some slow spots making the short 80 minutes of movie a little bit too much. However, as ridiculous as this movie is and the absurdity's of the situations described in Cohen acting is bit hilarious.

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review by . August 08, 2007
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It takes a certain kind of comic genius to create a character who is, to quote the classic Sondheim lyric, appealing and appalling. But be forewarned: Borat is not "something for everyone." It arrives as advertised as one of the most outrageous, most offensive, and funniest films in years. Kazakhstan journalist Borat Sagdiyev (Sacha Baron Cohen reprising the popular character from his Da Ali G Show), leaves his humble village to come to "U.S. and A" to film a documentary. After catching an episode of Baywatch in his New York hotel room, he impulsively scuttles his plans and, accompanied by his fat, hirsute producer (Hardy to his Laurel), proceeds to California to pursue the object of his obsession, Pamela Anderson. Borat is not about how he finds America; it's about how America finds him in a series of increasingly cringe-worthy scenes. Borat, with his '70s mustache, well-worn grey suit, and outrageously backwards attitudes (especially where Jews are concerned) interacts with a cross-section of the populace, catching them, a la Alan Funt on Candid Camera, in the act of being themselves. Early on, an unwitting humor coach advises Borat about various types of jokes. Borat asks if his brother's retardation is a ripe subject for comedy. The coach patiently replies, "That would not be funny in America." NOT! Borat is subversively, bracingly funny. When it comes to exploring uncharted territory of what is and is not appropriate or ...

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Details

Director: Larry Charles
Genre: Comedy
Release Date: November 3, 2006
MPAA Rating: R
DVD Release Date: March 6, 2007
Runtime: 84 minutes
Studio: 20th Century Fox
First to Review

"Cultural Laughings"
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