“Follow-up film to the 2006 comedy centering on the real-life adventures of a fictional Kazakh television journalist named Borat.” -IMDB
As with The Trial of the Chicago 7, I made the right decision in waiting to watch Borat Subsequent Moviefilm until after the results of the election. I nearly threw plates at my TV watching it, so lord knows what I would have done had I been watching it under the continuing regime of Count C**tula. Let me clarify…
While I greatly appreciated the first Borat film for its much-needed satire of the Bush-era, the newness of Cohen’s comedy into the US mainstream meant that I had to listen to a whole lot of mouth-breathing, bro-tastic young republicans (yep lower cased republicans) quote a movie that they truly had no idea was mocking them. There is no chance of that happening with this movie. And not just because Borat and Cohen are both well-known figures, but because Cohen somehow goes even harder in eviscerating the ignorant individuals he comes across. And he does that, at times, by doing almost nothing at all except letting them speak their “truths.”
Cohen, as always, provides the cringes. As with his other mockumentaries, I found my hands covering my eyes for a few scenes. However, during the first Borat, I covered my eyes more, whereas during the second, I had to cover my mouth, as my jaw was on the floor in shock of what spewed from people’s mouths. It’s been said since Trump’s candidacy that racism and bigotry have come out from hiding. It was on display in the first film, but still somewhat veiled. It is loud and proud in this one, with one scene showing a “March for our Rights” crowd singing along to a song which states that journalists should be dealt with as they are in Saudi Arabia.
It is also well worth mentioning the performance of Maria Bakalova, who plays Borat’s initially doting daughter. Can you, for a moment, imagine being 24, with English as your second language, and being asked to keep up comedically with SASHA BARON COHEN?! Oh yeah, and you’re also UNDERCOVER MOCKING WELL-KNOWN POLITICIANS AND PEOPLE WITH GUNS?! I know that I would fail miserably, but Bakalova shines. She is a real talent who I hope to see more from in the future. And, if you ardently refuse to watch this movie, please please please just watch the scene with Rudy Giuliani! It will leave you, as the kids say, SHOOK (but definitely not shocked…)!
I understand that this type of comedy may not be for everyone. However, if you can look past some of the gimmicks and gags and really focus on the outrage that Cohen wants you to feel, then I find Borat Subsequent Moviefilm to be worth the watch. It even has its sweet moments. But more importantly, it reminds us of where we are in history, of what we’ve accomplished in voting that pig out of office, and of the work we still have to accomplish.
Rating: 7 out of 10 Claire Bears
If you like this movie, you should also see: The Cohen canon is :chef’s kiss”
Streaming: Amazon Prime
With: Sasha Baron Cohen, Maria Bakalova
Directed By: Jason Woliner