Eeets verrrrry niiiieeece - Borat
Borat is the second cinematic outing for one of Sacha Baron Cohen's comic creations. The first Ali G In Da House was a cinematic abomination that was about as funny as tertiary syphillis. It was amateurish, badly paced, lacking insight and without humour of any kind - in other words it was everything that Ali G's TV interviews were not - a shame because in bite-sized interview doses Ali G was hilarious. When I first heard that Borat was being turned into a film I held out very little hope. In fact, I expected a bag of wank as the result.
I am glad to say that I was very wrong. Borat is hilarious. Or, at the very least, the interview sections are, and occasionally the linking material rises to similar moments of comic inspiration. And the reason it works is because the film looks amateurish and unsophisticated but is in fact the product of a very intelligent and funny man.
The plot - which is barely a plot at all - concerns Borat (Cohen) a repulsive, bigoted, clumsy Kazhakstani reporter travelling to America with his producer Azamat (Ken Davitian) to interview Americans for the benefit of his nation of Kazhakstan. However, along the way he falls in love with Pamela Anderson and takes off across America to find her and win her heart. And that is it. That's all the story there is.
The beauty of Borat is that the story is secondary to the jokes. And the jokes and pranks are - for the most part - brilliant. Whether it is feeding Bill Barr cheese upon their first meeting (an invented Kazhakstani custom) only to tell the man as he is about to swallow that the cheese has been made from breast milk of Borat's wife, or asking a gun store owner what the best weapon is for defending himself from Jews, the jokes always show Borat as dumb but his victims as dumber. Some of the things he gets people to say on camera beggars belief. Of course, some of this material is totally set-up. The final meeting between Borat and Pamela Anderson is a false note, and the dinner party stretches credibility once the prostitute arrives, and the scenes involving Borat, his producer, and the kindly Jewish B&B owners are bum notes. However, this is nitpicking, particularly as there are more laughs in this film than there has been from the entirety of Hollywood's comic output for about the last five years. The driving lesson, Bill Barr, the scenes at the rodeo, the naked wrestling and the first part of the dinner party are so funny I practically split my sides.
Borat is currently smashing up the box office on both sides of the Atlantic and if you book early you might just be able to get a seat!