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

Review Written by: Estefan Ellison
Film: A
What the MPAA Rating should be: R (for sexual content, nudity and language)

Directed by: Larry Charles
Written by: Sacha Baron Cohen, Anthony Hines, Peter Baynham and Dan Mazer
Produced by: Sacha Baron Cohen and Jay Roach
Starring: Sacha Baron Cohen, Ken Davitan, Luenell, Pamela Anderson
Studio: 20th Century Fox

From Andy Kaufman to the folks behind Candid Camera, funny pranksters have mostly always been relegated to the small screen. British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen, however, has been highly successful with bringing his comic personality to cinemas and making Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan the funniest film of 2006 (just edging out Clerks II). He has already signed up to bring another of his alter egos to to the big screen, but with all the exposure Cohen has received, it will be very difficult. Thankfully, during the making of Borat, he wasn't that well known outside of England and the HBO-viewing audience, which allowed to explore a type of America rarely seen before. The result is a laugh riot that will cause you to laugh so hard, you will miss much of the dialogue.

Borat Sagdiyev (Sacha Baron Cohen) is a reporter from the small village of Kuzev in Kazakhstan. He has been hired by his Ministy to make a documentary on life in the United States to find out how to live better. He is joined by his producer Azamat (Ken Davitan) and what begins as just a look at New York, spirals into a trek to Hollywood to meet Borat's first love, Pamela Anderson. Throughout the journey, he encounters a feminist group, a group of black teenagers and a church group among other fascinating individuals. He also encounters his worst nightmare: a old Jewish couple. Borat's racist, Anti-Semitic and homophobic ramblings lead to both him and the audience to hear some rather funny and horrifying ideas from his interviewees.

Sacha Baron Cohen has done much like what Mel Brooks did with Blazing Saddles by showing the stupidity of racism, but goes much further by showing actual people and not actors. Borat's naivety allows the other people to open themselves up resulting in very rude and awful comments. Cohen is kind enough to show the nice side of America, but he does give ample enough time to the not so nice side. A scene in which he visits a rodeo and meets a homophobic cowboy and ruins "The Star-Spangled Banner" provides quite a lot of laughs and dropped jaws. Even though, the improvised scenes are the best, the scripted parts like the tour of Kuzev and Borat's voice-overs also provide many humourous moments. There is even a shocking scene where Borat and Azamat have a fight in their hotel room which proceeds to the rest of the building. It sounds like nothing, but the scene is both hilarious and horrible to look at. Borat has gotten much controversy and law suits, but providing you understand that Sacha Baron Cohen is playing a character (very successfully and award-worthy at that) and that these real-life people are actually saying what are on their mind, you will certainly get the satire and laugh your head off.

Kazakh reporter Borat make movie film debut. Nice.
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