Borat Review
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Somewhere in Central Asia, in the former Soviet nation of Kazakhstan, there are a lot of people who are seriously ticked off—all because of one irreverent comedian and his silly little movie.

The movie causing all the fuss is Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan, which is based on Cohen’s character from his show, Da Ali G Show. In the movie, Borat Sagdiyev (Cohen), a Kazakh TV reporter, is sent to the U.S. and A. with a camera crew to film a documentary and learn more about the greatest country in the world. While in his hotel room in New York, he discovers Baywatch, and he falls in love with Pamela Anderson. Determined to make his beloved Pamela his wife, he packs up his camera crew and takes his documentary on the road—headed west, toward Malibu and the woman of his dreams.

Along the way—as he and his producer, Azamat Bagatov (Ken Davitian), travel across the country in an old ice cream truck—Borat takes all the time he can to interview people and attempt to learn more about what makes America great.

Though there is a bit of a plot to Borat, it’s basically an 85-minute episode of Candid Camera—with perhaps a bit of Jackass mixed in. As Borat, Cohen meets up with unsuspecting feminists and drunken frat boys and Southern socialites and politicians and proud homophobes, and he allows them to make complete and utter fools of themselves on camera. He shocks, appalls, angers, and confuses people. And he actually manages to make a friend or two, too.

Audiences of this movie will go one of two ways: you’ll either be seriously offended, or you’ll laugh so hard that your sides will ache for days. I land in the second category—but I say that with some reservation. Because I liked it—but I didn’t totally love it. Yes, Borat is hilarious. It’s been a long time since a movie made me laugh this hard. And Cohen really is a comic genius. But there were times that I really didn’t want to laugh—even though I just couldn’t help it. And there were things I saw that I definitely could have lived without ever seeing (things that will most likely pop up in a horrifying nightmare some night, years from now).

Borat definitely isn’t a general-audiences kind of movie. If you’re offended by nudity (naked man-on-fat-man wrestling, for instance) or by jokes about religion, homosexuality, politics, bodily functions, Jews, sex, or women in general, then it’s pretty much a given that you should steer clear of this one. Because Borat covers them all—and more. But if you happen to be a college student (and you happen to have just recently consumed an entire bottle of cheap whiskey), I guarantee that you’ll absolutely love it. For the rest of you, just a few words of advice: keep an open mind. And empty your bladder before the movie starts.

One last message to the Kazakh people: don’t worry. I suspect you’ll find that Borat will be a goldmine for tourism dollars. Start fermenting your finest horse urine—because I’m sure the drunken frat boys are already booking their spring break flights. High five!

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