Monday, November 27, 2006

Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan (2006)

This is pretty goddamn funny in my opinion. I know there's been a lot of ink spilled over the film's political slant and whether or not it works as social satire. Whether it does or not is almost beside the point -- while there is a certain strain of poker-faced satire in the film's DNA, Borat is foremost a comedy of embarassment. With his indecent assaults on humor coaches, driving instructors, frat boys and Southern high-society members, Sacha Baron Cohen could be considered something of a comedic bully if he also weren't just as willing to set himself up for ridicule (not just in the creation of the absurd Borat persona, but in scenes like the naked wrestling extravaganza or the bit where Borat learns what a homosexual is). Rather than poking fun at what he finds ridiculous, Cohen's operating logic seems to be that we're all ridiculous in our own ways. What's important is the answer to the question, "Is it funny?" And Jesus, it's funny. Really fucking funny.

Grade: A-


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