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Posted: Fri Dec 01, 2006 5:38 am
With all the debate running around on this film I'm a little surprised no one on this site has made a thread on the picture, and I'm unaware if anyone here has even seen the film yet. Well I saw it, because I'm not the type to be ignorant when it comes to film. A friend and I went off to the ghetto theater (partly because its in the ghetto and partly because its the cheapest show in town and you're guaranteed to have at least two seats in every theater with garbage bags over them. Well in theater 10 we were literally the only ones in there, and I wondered if we were the only people in the entire theater.
Well we're watching and a few laughs can be had early. A few quick cuts, surprised people and we're in for a good treat. Then they go to a bed and breakfast run by Jews. Anti-semitic humor is en vogue and this films basks in it. At first there is the "Running of the Jew" where a giant Jewish head complete with green skin and devil horns is raced. The later reprise of the gag is converted to Christianity, and instead they crucify a Jew and hit him with pitchforks. Anyways they're convinced the Jews have "changed forms" and turned into two cockroaches and in order to get out of their house Borat and his partner throw dollar bills at the roaches and run out of the house. Well this set it up for a good laugh.
After this the duo decide to get protection against the Jews, and after being denied access to a gun, the two buy a Bear. Since Borat's car is a run down ice cream truck seeing the kids run up to the window of an ice cream truck only to have their bear growl out the window was priceless. I figured at this point the film was a winner. However when two grown men have a nude fight that runs into a business convention, well lets just say I thought I was going to have a heart attack.
The film ranges from the best of prank like reality shows with good old fashioned scripted gags. A film that looked immensely fun to make, and one that rarely lets up on genuine laughs. Perhaps my sense of humor is @#%$ up enough to truly get this, but I'd be willing to sit through it again. Damn good show, and a damn fine piece of social commentary. Borat has gotten many American's to get their real politically incorrect feelings out there including congressmen bashing homosexuals, and rednecks admitting all Muslims look like terrorists. The film shows some of the worst sides of being an American, but you don't mind laughing at yourself. Still wonder what the Jewish take on the film would be.
Re: Borat (2006)
Posted: Fri Dec 01, 2006 6:24 am
Have yet to watch this but I do know the type of humour and approach that this film takes. I did briefly discuss this with someone previously so bare with me as I paste some choice passages.
I need to see distinction in my comedies. Some people such as myself have a weird reaction to mean-spirited humour and I can't find myself laughing wholeheartedly at making fun of ignoramuses, it creates something pretty damn hollow for me. Maybe it's that I just can't support at a guy who seems so morally superior (as he lies to everyone he meets no less) while lending audiences that very feeling of superiority which just seems so hypocriticial.
For the record, I think this keen mission to unroot the country's sordid aspects of racism and sexism is more of an afterthought to the comedians and team behind it rather than its purpose. This coming from a person that has seen his earlier works.
Re: Borat (2006)
Posted: Fri Dec 22, 2006 3:19 pm
Courtesy of MovieXclusive.com
Borat (Im tired just thinking about the entire title so lets just use the abbreviation) is a truly funny and utterly outrageous mockumentary that has rightfully made its star (Sacha Baron Cohen) a phenomenon. Cohen and comedy stalwart, Larry Charles are either the bravest souls on television or the most cavalier. It delivers more knockout punches in its opening act than most billed comedies have in their entire running time (sequels included). It starts out with a purposeful but not all that difficult premise of uprooting the wavering perception of the United States of Americas open policy and social cohesion in regards to race and religion.
It also prides itself on eliciting legitimate responses (well, mostly legitimate) from its subjects that range from unwise wizened Texans, college frat boys to Pentecostal churchgoers in an apparent effort to ridicule and I suppose to expose the hypocrisies of the American collective. But what starts out as a preceding imperative to satirise the extreme right-wingers and clenched up patrons of morality and decency slowly turns into a disappointing afterthought in the middle of its comic snuff that takes out any one caught in Borat Sagdiyevs maelstrom.
Pushing the boundaries and expounding on the then undisclosed aspects of the Borats life in Kazakhstan, the film starts off in a small village where he reveals himself to be a celebrity in his country, a proud brother of the third best whore in Kazakhstan and the unhappy husband of a growling ogre of a wife. He tells us of his impending journey to the U-S of A where hell bring back the cultural learnings of America for make benefit glorious nation of Kazakhstan by way of a documentary record. To aid him in his endeavours is Azamat (Ken Davitian), his overweight producer with one eye on the budget and the other on the roadmap. Taking a detour from the deeply cynical East Coast, they embark on an episodic road trip that leads them through the heart of the country from the Deep South to Los Angeles in the pursuit of romantic explosions. Even with a constant structure and a neatly stacked narrative, Borat most resembles a refined Jackass and Punkd hybrid especially in its outrageousness thats probably only equaled by the courage shown by its more than willing cast and crew that predictably risked physical harm.
And not for nothing, but there is an ugly undercurrent of exploitation and an inflated sense of superiority in Borat that is probably easy to ignore amidst the barrage of laughter and its mask of being an equal opportunity offender. It works its charms by removing the audience from its subject, seducing them first by reassuring them that by laughing at the silly racists and homophobes and that they are actually laughing at their own insecurities. But are they really?
The real concern is that there is a lack of distinction being made between ignorance and truly odious opines. While its chilling to see a reasonably presentable man call for capital punishment in cases of homosexualism and disappointing to see the collegiate drunkenly ruing the end of slavery and sexism, its also as equally vile to see people that refuse to be drawn into Borats game be goaded into becoming caricatures for the camera especially when we arent privy to the elaborate falsehoods that were told before the release forms were signed. And what about those that that mean well and those who want to give Borat the benefit of the doubt due to his perceived naivet? Instead they get pushed to their breaking points in order to get the response that the crew wants.
Those who now think that I have missed the point of this social exercise are wrong. I find the repulsive nature of prejudice off-putting as much as the next person, and respect Cohens abilities as Kaufman-esque comedian to the extent of backing him for any Best Actor awards regardless of the apparent novelty factor. But do I necessary have to approve or even cheer on someone who deceives his way into making a salient and frankly, hypocritical point about exposing the real truths while watching him dole out punishment via humiliation to the ignorant racists and the overly conservatives that Cohen does not approve?
Re: Borat (2006)
Posted: Wed Jan 03, 2007 7:14 am
I have watched this too ...
Hmmm ... not everyone can see the "hidden agenda" ...
at face value, the film can be rather offensive to many pple ...
and to some who are not aware that the film is a mockumentary or whatever you call it, they may feel even more "confused" ...
Re: Borat (2006)
Posted: Sun Jan 07, 2007 8:11 pm
Well, i've not seen it but i've heard quite a bit about it and the Kazakh reaction. Of course he was simply picking a virtually unknown country to test out reactions and stereotypes, but it's hardly surprising the Kazakhs didn't get the joke. They could use it as a positive opportunity for tourism rather than worry too much about their image. I've looked up a bit on the country, and once did an April Fool spoof poll of Kazakh cineastes (that caught out quite a few) well before Cohen copied my idea. It's a big place but less glamorous than silk road neighbours like Uzbekistan (which now has a monstrous leader), with its legendary cities like Samarkand or rulers like Tamberlane. Still, i did get a Kazakh cd, Akku, by Raushan Orazbaeva, virtuosa of the magical shamanic kyl-kobyz instrument. And i see Welsh composer Karl Jenkins went over there a few years back, did a Kazakh-influenced piece.
Anyway, Cohen is expert at eliciting unguarded natural reactions and showing up otherwise hidden prejudices in supposedly more advanced/civilised modern societies.
Re: Borat (2006)
Posted: Tue Oct 23, 2007 7:22 am
I feel like I have experienced it all by watching all of the show that Borat originated on. Cohen's ability to play on inborn prejudices and getting people to say what they really feel is great. Borat is most likely his best character and this film is still hilarious a second time around. Its embarassing sometimes how homophobic and racist this country can be.