It is hard to review something most people love with a lukewarm reception! Don’t get me wrong there was more to Borat that I enjoyed than I expected, I went in with a lot of scepticism, but I just don’t think its quite my kind of comedy.
Borat is a fictional character, created by Sasha Baron Cohen, from Kazakhstan who is a journalist going to America to learn about American society. What follows is a lot of ridiculous situations with Borat falling into every social faux pas imaginable, sometimes in improvised scenes with the general public, other times within the film’s staged acts. The effectiveness is somewhat mixed.
It is painfully obvious when Borat is “staged” and when it is improvising; the film quality becomes grainy and guerilla-style, making sure the public are unaware of a camera. These scenes though, are definitely my favourites. The initial subway trip in New York was good fun to watch, his walking about the streets welcoming everyone was good too, and Pamela Anderson… well, the less said the better!
However, asides from some of the buried honest subtext of social strife the film adds, a lot of the “staged” comedy (be it completely, or with the public at least aware of the filming) felt a little forced. The goods store he accidentally trashes, for example.
I might be a little hard on it, as there are great moments scattered throughout the mire of toilet, low-brow humour I cannot stand. It is a mixed bag with varying levels of inappropriate comedy, and I warmed to it a lot more than I thought, but the bar was set very low!
I’m definitely not watching Bruno.
Sorry to all the Cinema Cocoa fans who are now disappointed I didn’t adore it, I have a very precise taste in comedy!