Sacha Borat aka Borat, the charmingly offensive, Kazakhstan reporter has written and appeared in a hilarious anti-PC film that tramples over every cringing, PC attitude, where previously, 'decent' folk once feared to tread. His exploits in seeking to introduce America for the benefit of Kazakhstan TV have deeply upset Kazakhstani politicians and tourism officials alike. (Did Kazakhstan have a tourist industry before this film?)
But the joke is really on America and Americans and the way that they respond to Borat provides the humour of the film. Their endemic racism, homophobic and their tendency to take things literally and their inability to send themselves up produce some very funny episodes.
Aided by the memorably named Azamat Bogatov, 'Borat' does pander to the lowest common denominator, but somehow he gets away with each outrageous scene and stunt. How he managed to avoid arrest is open to speculation. From watching the film again, it is conceivable that more of the stunts were staged than initally seemed possible. The extras to promote the movie, which are included in the DVD package are worth viewing, as are the deleted scenes. Sacha Baron Cohen's appearances to promote the movie, (chat shows in the US and openings in cities around the world) were conducted in character. Indeed, such is his total immersion in the character that he reminds me of the late, great, Peter Sellers, who was similarly transformed by the characters he inhabited, often to the point that he couldn't step back out of character.
How Cohen plans to follow up this triumph will be eagerly awaited. Nothing else he has tried has worked as well as Borat. The Bruno character is more the stuff of short sketch than full-length feature film. In the meantime, savour the outrageousness of this DVD. Highly recommended.
All stand for the Kazakhstan National Anthem!
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