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Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan (2006)

Director:
Larry Charles
COUNTRY
USA
GENRE
Comedy/Satire
NORWEGIAN TITLE
Borat
RUNNING TIME
84 minutes
Producer:
Sacha Baron Cohen
Screenwriter:
Sacha Baron Cohen
Anthony Hines
Peter Baynham
Dan Mazer


Cast includes:

CHARACTER ACTOR/ACTRESS RATING
Borat Sagdiyev Sacha Baron Cohen
Azamat Bagatov Ken Davitian
Luenell Luenell

 

Review

British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen takes his long-time companion and character Borat Sagdiyev to the movies, toying with stereotypes, prejudice and people's uncritical relation to politics and media. A lot of the film's potency relies greatly on its fine balance between realism and fiction. Coming off as a road movie with elements of documentary, Baron Cohen has a creative approach, ridiculing the simplistic, outdated Kazak way of life explicitly and Americanism implicitly. He has quite a few good points, but also some very questionable angles (including the motivation for the all-out and unexplained attack on Kazakhstan). The writing isn't good enough to be able to justify and accumulate all the satirical criticism the film scatters around. And it also isn't funny enough to avoid the embarrassing moments. Borat is actually at its best in its physical comedy and as a character study. This is where Baron Cohen shows his talents as a comedian and his impressive dive into character. He is helped greatly, however, by Ken Davatian who delivers what is arguably one of the bravest physical performances so far this millenium at least. But unfortunately, as a political and satirical document, Borat isn't quite intelligent enough. 

Copyright 28.11.2006 Fredrik Gunerius Fevang

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