Saturday, November 04, 2006

Borat

Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan

You know that feeling.

The one you get on rare occasions when you feel as though you've just witnessed something special. The couple of times you just knew you were in the presence of greatness. Remember?

(I've never really had that feeling, but I've had a couple of friends who've described it to me.)

But, I think I may have experienced it while watching
Borat. The Marquee Cinema where I saw the film was standing room only; the only time I can recall seeing a film where movie-goers happily stood in the aisle and munched popcorn while watching a flick. Many people left the theater talking about how special this comedy is, and how hard it made them laugh. And laugh we did...While walking to my car I realized my jaws ached from excessive laughing.

The film is plain brilliant.

Borat comes to America with a film crew to record American culture, hoping the information will help his native Kazakhstan progress past it's current primitive state. Shortly after Borat arrives, he sees an episode of Baywatch, and falls head-over-heels in love with Pamela Sue Anderson. He treks across country to California to meet and wed Anderson. During the trip Borat meets lots of interesting folk, and has several outlandish comedic adventures. Filmed in documentary style, most of the people and situations are real. And that's the beauty of the film.

Borat is politically incorrect, but not in a mean-spirited way. In fact, I think the film is more a satire of how we Americans (and folks immigrating to America) establish our goals, dreams and beliefs about others based on incorrect presumptions and over-generalized ideals. There has been a lot of press over whether Borat promotes anti-Semitism or racism. I don't think it does. Borat is racist and a bigot, but his beliefs are based in ignorance and inexperience. And the movie makes it clear that the joke is on him--we aren't laughing at his jokes about Jews, we are laughing at his ignorance.

This is a special movie that people will be talking about for a long time. Check it out soon.

8 comments:

Barbie Girl said...

I so want to go see this. Just watching the previews made me belly laugh.

The Film Geek said...

Run to see it now! Beware the wrestling scene, what may be the most disturbingly funny scene from a comedy in years.

Anathema Device said...

I am dying to see that!!!

Kelly said...

Marc,

You must be working hard...no new posts a several days? What's up with that? ;)

The Film Geek said...

Hey Kelly: You guessed it! Nothing but blood and sweat here at work. Hopefully I'll relax with Mrs. Film Geek this evening to one of the movies sitting atop my DVD player.

ian said...

This could be the best DVD release ever, if deleted scenes, outtakes, and other extras are included.

My only problem with Borat - and it's not really a problem - is that some scenes very likely had to be set up to move along the thread-bare plot the movie tries to incorporate. Some of those people had to have been in on the joke.

It doesn't make the scenes any less funny, really. But the same authenticity or "shock value" isn't there, either.

jedi jawa said...

I saw it this weekend and it was very good and very funny.

Stanton said...

I finally got to see this movie. Here's my breakdown:

5 minutes - hysterically funny.

11 minutes - hilarious, politically incorrect social satire.

20 minutes - funny crude humor.

60 minutes - gratuitous gutter "humor". Mostly unfunny to a sober person.

This movie would have been so much better if the main character had not been such a disgusting human being. I didn't like the character at all and so I never felt invested in his journey.

A more intellectual approach would have been better. The "high society" dinner scene was nearly perfect up to a point, then fell to the lowest common denominator.

This movie is has the intellectual appeal of "Porky's 2" but with better acting.