I’ll be the first to admit—I’ll never understand the lure of Borat.
In 2002, Borat was first introduced and played by Sacha Baron Cohen in Ali G Indahouse. The fictional journalist from a made-up European-Asian country grew with a strong fan following that Cohen’s Ali G persona was set aside for Borat. Eventually, Borat got his own film in 2006 with Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan. His comedy and public pranks ensued with innocent bystanders.
Fifteen years is a long time since the last film for Borat. During those years, fictional Borat made appearances on talk shows now and then. When the sequel Borat Subsequent Moviefilm was announced last month—it took fans by surprise. Not to mention, the pranked subjects were even more surprised in being in the film.
Borat’s target—the Republican Party and conservatives.
Taking advantage of the political election year, Cohan & Co. cashed in with the laughs on unsuspecting conservatives, particularly in the state of Georgia. He targeted a very high-profile politician with the United States Vice President Mike Pence, but the prank failed at a CPAC conference. Thus, he declared a successful mission with the next target of United States President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani.
The story was simple. Borat needed to redeem himself after embarrassing himself as a representative of the nation of Kazakhstan. The government sent Borat to the United States to deliver a gift to Mike Pence. Unbeknownst to Borat, his fifteen-year-old daughter Tuter (played by Maria Bakalova), ate the gift via cannibalism. In a redemption move, Borat decided to gift his young daughter to Pence. To prepare the gift, he made sure his daughter was presentable for a leader of the nation.
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Borat Subsequent Moviefilm had its laugh out loud moments. Then again, it also had its cringeworthy moments.
The best part of Borat is with getting reactions from innocent bystanders who are not in on the pranks. His disguise as a Ku Klux Klan member at CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference) may not garner Borat any friends from half this country. However, the look on Mike Pence’s face when he appeared in a Donald Trump costume may go down as one of his best pranks in the movie.
Certain innocent pranks didn’t pan out as expected. The haircut moment with an unexpected man seem awkward and missed the punchline entirely. And Cohen broke out of character when he visited a Jewish synagogue only to not prank a Holocaust survivor.
Then there are new circulating that some pranks are faked with innocent bystanders are acting around Borat. In a moment with an Instagram influencer Macy Chanel, he attempted to mocking beauty influencers. However, the so-called Macy Chanel on Instagram has zero followers, which may prove she might be a paid actress. Not to mention, one of the most cringeworthy pranks, was a debutante ball with bystanders watched horrifically at the dance from Borat and Tuter. Reports indicated the producers paid the crowd $100 per person to pretend to watch Borat.
The best prank was towards Giuliani as Tuter pretends to be a journalist for an interview. They sneaked into the next room, in which it appeared Giuliani unzipped his pants. Suddenly, Borat crashes the moment. Talk shows and Twitter went crazy over the prank on Giuliani. It was hard to tell if Giuliani tricked into a bedroom moment or it was clever editing by the producers.
In the end, it didn’t change my mind about Borat with his prank humor. However, my good impressions were with Maria Bakalova in playing along as Tuter. Definitely, we won’t see the last of her.
Borat Subsequent Moviefilm streams on Amazon Prime today.
Official Synopsis: Follow-up film to the 2006 comedy centering on the real-life adventures of a fictional Kazakh television journalist named Borat.
Directed by: Jason Woliner
Written by: Sacha Baron Cohen, Anthony Hines, Dan Swimer, Peter Baynham, Erica Rivinoja, Dan Mazer, Jena Friedman, Lee Kern
Starring: Sacha Baron Cohen, Maria Bakalova
Watch the partial-spoiler video review with LRM Online’s Gig Patta on Binge Watch below.
Source: LRM Online Exclusive, Amazon Prime