Saturday, November 04, 2006

Please Watch Or I Be Execute!

Last night my husband and I watched the only fresh, original thing to hit theaters in a long time. Maybe the most fresh and original of all-time. But Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan is not for the faint of heart. I haven't laughed this hard at a movie in years, nor have I winced so much. I don't want to spoil the movie for anyone who hasn't seen it by describing too much. If you want a discreet review, check out Ebert's.

British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen co-wrote the screenplay and stars in the film. You may recognize him from his popular "Ali G" show, which regularly featured Borat's cultural program. This is probably the most faithful translation of TV character to movie ever, and is part of what makes Borat such a success and a total stand-out in the usual lineup of assembly-line offerings in theaters. I have heard people refer to Cohen as a social commentator, and I think the label fits. It's not so much in what Cohen's characters say and do, as in what his antics inspire other people to say and do in response. Sometimes, the shtick is borderline genius, and it's almost always hilarious.

A few highlights from the movie...

Favorite Moment: Borat chatting with some rather unattractive, humorless feminists. Watch the clip.

Most Painful Scene I: Borat and Azamat fighting with each other in the hotel room completely naked.

Most Painful Scene II: Borat and the Pentacostals. Those people scare me.

Borat is outrageous, absurd, and downright disgusting at times, but it is also so superbly full of wit and subtlety (watch Borat's expression when he finds out that he has unwittingly engaged in homosexuality) that, to quote from another Ebert review, it soars above ordinary gross-out movies as the eagle outreaches the fly. Highly recommended.


Blogger Rusticus said...


"I could not concentrate on what this old man is saying."

I've never seen anything by this fellow before, but that was funny.

11/06/2006 8:28 AM  

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