Stars: *** 1/2
Rating: R for obscenities, language and nudity
Run Time: 1 hour, 82 minutes
the hatches and hide the children because Borat is coming to town. That’s Borat
Sagdiyev to you and me, a sex-crazed, single-monikered, obscenity-spouting
Kazakhstani reporter for a state-owned TV network who’s crossing the U.S. of A.
in search of the pulse of mainstream
As Borat (comedian Sacha Baron Cohen) zigzags his way across the country he interviews all manner of unsuspecting Americans eager to help a foreigner in need. No one is immune to Borat’s outrageous antics thinly masquerading as “charming” misunderstandings. Not the gourmet wine-tasters club who show Borat to the powder room halfway through dinner only to see him return to the table with a doggy bag of his own feces (you had to be there). Nor the diction coach who attempts to instruct Borat in common American jargon and is repeatedly tripped up over the use of the slangy disclaimer “Not!”
stateside Borat catches a late-night re-run of “Baywatch” and falls head over
heels for the bodacious Pamela Anderson, vowing to travel to
As with all extensive travels there are unwieldy mishaps galore – broken down budget ice-cream trucks (resulting in an eventful hitch with a quartet of drunk and horny frat boys), a disastrous singing gig at a hee-haw rodeo and a side-splitting stop at a suspicious “gypsy camp”, aka a Midwestern yard sale.
Throughout Borat’s humor crosses every line of decency and taste – scatological, anti-Semitic, sexist and pervasively offensive. But it’s funny – damn funny for most of its short running time. The gag flags a smidge in the third act, slightly repetitious but always on the mark. A nude wrestling match with obese producer/sidekick Azamat Bagatov (Ken Davitian) tips the scales to repulsive.
Borat’s beloved homeland is the butt of many of Baron Cohen’s preposterous jokes – a small west-central Asian country that boasts fermented horse urine as its national wine and forbids women to drive cars, comparing such an inconceivable act to that of a monkey flying a plane.
Rumor has it
that the powers that be of the real-life
Credit Baron Cohen with the guts to go out on a comic limb with this vulgar yet courageous fish-out-of-water tale and wacky mockumentarial adventure that’s destined to become a cult-classic -- plucky, uproarious and totally uncompromising.