A blog dealing with either the joy of cinema or the agony of cinema--nothing in between.
Sunday, February 27, 2011
Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan
When making a comedy, one of the most difficult things to do is to ensure that the film has repeat value and is able to generate laughter on subsequent viewings. Borat is one of those movies that I was completely familiar with, and watched it over and over upon its release until its novelty wore off. Now, a few years later, I find it still retains its comedic value and succeeds entirely as a mockumentary. It follows Borat Sagdiyev, one of Sacha Baron Cohen's alter egos, as he travels to America to make a film about our country. There, the likable but clueless reporter gets into loads of hot water and becomes sidetracked by Pamela Anderson, and becomes obsessed with tracking her down. Directed by Larry Charles who specializes in this kind of humor (see Curb Your Enthusiasm), Borat is a tasteless film with wonderful comic timing and many hilarious moments. Cohen's performance is ingenious and his improvisation is impeccable. I did think he goes too far on several (strike that many) occasions and the movie doesn't work as well when it wants to act as satire or serve as social commentary. Still, it is a hilarious movie and more worthwhile then anything offered up by the Apatow crew lately.