If you haven’t already seen “Borat!: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan,” then I would highly advise you to slip it into your schedule within the next few weeks before you find yourself needlessly left out of at least 40 percent of your friends jokes. The box office hit was released Friday in only 850 theaters nationwide, yet beat out every other movie this week which played in over 3000 theaters.
A mockumentary featuring British comedian and star of HBO’s “Da Ali G Show,” Sacha Baron Cohen, “Borat!” highlights the travels of the TV reporter from Kazakhstan. Borat Sagdiyev, Cohen’s fictional character, is a national Kazakhstani television star who has come to the “US and A” to not only chronicle his journey, but also to discover how his own nation of Kazakhstan can become better.
Borat’s appearance, from his drab stained and outdated gray suit to his defining black mustache, complements his funniest quality – his speech. A fake Kazakhstani accent delivers broken English mixed with his Kazakhstani smatterings (which are actually bits of Polish) to the audience. This absurd character, along with his extremely minimal film crew, put together a purposefully poorly cut film packed with hilarious, crude ad lib comedy, scene after scene.
Borat’s character is filled with pure endless humor. He seems to have a combination of a simple child’s mentality and that of a poor, uneducated peasant from an impoverished third-world country. This aura of conventional stupidity combined with a title of importance (the leading Kazakh news reporter) adds up to what the New York Times terms, “calculated ignorance.”
Spanning the nation, Borat takes you through a hilarious introspective of western culture and America. The topics of humor are derived from the major plot themes, but some of the best scenes stem from the minutia of Borat’s trip. Turning left into oncoming Manhattan traffic, unpacking his belongings in the hotel elevator on the way to his room and dealing with horrible American gypsies are just some of the highlights of the film. Poking fun at American politics and conservative Western-world ideals, Borat sends a subtle political message that is, overshadowed by his ridiculous humor.
The only flaw in this movie is that it lasts only 82 minutes and leaves you wondering just how much of the film was staged. While providing crude, witty humor on touchy issues, “Borat!” provides an extremely interesting view of American culture and current events that anyone can enjoy. If you have ever been in a foreign speaking country or have had to communicate with a difficult non-English speaking person, this movie will be sure to tickle your “chrum” on multiple levels. Mikshimash!