Monday, November 13, 2006


Most British people are familiar with Sacha Baren Cohen from his humble beginnings on Channel 4's 'The 11 O'Clock Show' to his rise as the blinged up self-agrandising Ali G. After the success of his TV series it was followed by an abysmal film which received less than enthusiastic reviews and most people probably thought this was the end of his career.

Fast-forward to a few years later and Cohen was back as a faux-Kazakhstani reporter Borat with broken English playing to borderline racist/sexist comments and all-round innuendo. News of a film came by way of online newspaper reports of a film being made in America and offending natives wherever he went. Any humour that is played at but flies over the general population of middle-America because of it's satirically black comedy stylings is always potentially hilarious.

Cue 'Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan'. As with such media frenzy being created because of the 'outrage' caused in America hardly any publicity was required for the film which is a PR dream come true. But is the film any good?

Absolutely. I haven't been in a cinema that has laughed so much since I saw The Squid & The Whale earlier this year. The genius lies in the visuals whereby something ordinary is followed by something surreal and also in the capturing of pure bewilderment and horror on peoples faces when they are caught up in Borats actions. As there is a loose structure to the film in which a vein attempt is made for Borat to learn culturally from Americans by way of pre-arranged meetings and interviews it allows the excuse for many skits inbetween and their agenda is soon aborted by Borat attempting to get to California to have sex with Pamela Anderson.

It is useless to describe the comedy without ruining the intention or gags themselves but they are as much hilarious as they are cringe-worthy due to openly racist and sexist Americans spewing forth non-sensical xenophobic diatribe without their knowledge of them being the butt of the joke.

If you are easily offended or without a sense of humour this film is not for you and I deride any criticism of the film inciting hatred of Jews or insulting the population of Kazakhstan as it is purely tongue-in-cheek black humour.

I would give this film 8.4 Ice-Cream Vans out of 10.



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