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Published on June 21st, 2008 | by simeon

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Borat

One of the funniest and most shockingly outrageous comedies in the history of film has arrived, and it is poised not only to make Sacha Baron Cohen a major star, but also ignite controversy. The film is Borat and it follows Cohen’s Kazakhstan news man, Borat, as he leaves his homeland to film a documentary in New York.

Naturally one would expect a fish out of water story, but fans are treated to much more than this as Borat and his backwards thoughts and practices and given form all over the U.S. often to the shock of those around him as well as howls of laughter from the audience.

You see Borat is a man with a few issues. He is anti-Semitic, a misogynist, ignorant and uncultured, and not ashamed of his actions which grow bolder and more outrageous as the film progresses.

The opening segments in his native land like the entire film is filled with one rapid fire joke after another as Borat introduces us to his family and key people in his town such as the town rapist and his sister the prostitute. As funny as the setup and the settings are, it is the clever comments that Cohen slips in that allows Borat to make some biting social and political commentaries.

Once in America, he travels from New York to Los Angeles making several stops along the way with side splitting results as Borat encounters events ranging from a rodeo, polite society, pop culture, a religious revival and much more.

The amazing thing about the film is that it never grows old and over the roughly 84 minutes of the films running time, there are plenty of jokes and a absence of slow spots which are often so common in comedies today.

Cohen is great at portraying Borat as a likeable guy who does not know any better which makes his comments and actions so easy to take. Cohen who is himself Jewish is able to get away with making jokes about his faith as he is doing it through the persona of someone who is ignorant to many realities in the world.

In a way the film allows us to laugh at ourselves as well as Borat is supposed to be a foreigner who does not know better, but is wiser in some ways due to his ignorance of topics. There is a scene where Borat buys a car is a true look at consumerism in the West as he spells out in graphic detail what he wants in a car and what he expects it to do for his love life.

Not only is the scene outrageous but it underscores the message of sex appeal and desirability that is prevalent in car ads aimed at men. Instead of hinting at it, Borat lifts the lid on the subject and takes it on with no punches pulled.

The film is tricky to review as one of the greatest joys of the film is the sense of discovery and not knowing where or what Borat will say or do next. Suffice it to say, that the film is a comedic masterpiece that will have you shocked and laughing harder than any film in recent memory.

4.5 stars out of 5.


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