“Borat” is the kind of film that had the packed cinema roaring with laughter throughout the entire runtime, sometimes to such an extent that you honestly couldn’t hear any dialogue for minutes at a time
Sacha Baron Cohen, Ken Davitian, Pamela Anderson
Over the last few months during the build-up of hype for “Borat”, I’ve heard a lot of people say things like “The funniest film ever made”, and it’s made me wonder if it could possibly be true given the amount of people saying it. Given that I also recently read an article where over 10,000 people had voted “Groundhog Day” as the best comedy of the 90’s – I try not to get my hopes up too much.
With that in mind, I am a fan of “Da Ali G Show”, but really disliked “Ali G Indahouse” as a film, the only bright point being the quick cameo by a slightly confused Kazakhstan reporter named “Borat”, the star of Sacha Baron Cohen’s newest film based on his HBO series. In my own opinion, I believe that a film like “Caddyshack” can’t be bested as my favourite comedy, but “Borat” is a damn close second place.
The “story” is as thin as it comes – Borat Sagdiyev (Cohen) is something of a national celebrity in his native Kazakhstan, hosting such celebrations as the “Running Of The Jew” during his broadcast. When he is hired by the Government to do reports from “U.S. and A.”. Beginning in New York, Borat and his accompanying Director, Azamat Bagatov (Ken Davitian) kick things off as a whole, mainly by trying to put them in as many awkward situations as possible for the next 90 minutes. When Borat comes across a repeat of “Baywatch” and specifically the assets of Pamela Anderson, they set across America on a quest to get to California so he can make her his new bride.
What follows is fairly typical of the TV series, being a set of interviews & bits with a variety of people from etiquette coaches through to car dealers, prostitutes, comedy teachers, rodeo promoters, drunken Frat boys and many more doing what people do best – being idiots. That’s where the humour lies in “Borat” the most – it’s not necessarily anything that Cohen is physically doing, it’s the answers that people seem willing to give up straight away. When he asks a HumVee dealer “How fast would I need to go to kill a Jew?”, typically most people will say “That’s insane”, or simply walk away from the conversation, but the dealer quickly replies (straight faced by the way) “Well it depends if they roll on the windshield….. probably ‘round 35-45 mph would just about do it” – it is funny as hell to witness, but just a touch on the scary side as well.
To be completely upfront, “Borat” is the kind of film that had the packed cinema roaring with laughter throughout the entire runtime, sometimes to such an extent that you honestly couldn’t hear any dialogue for minutes at a time. For a film that is largely unscripted, I don’t think you could really find anything better out there than “Borat”, but for the scripted moments, the comedy stays pure gold from start to finish – not easy for a film that lost it’s original Director early on (“Old School” helmer Todd Phillips – Larry Charles of “Seinfeld” fame took over the chair). To that end, I wholeheartedly recommend seeing “Borat” – funniest film ever made? Not quite in my book, but definitely the funniest film I have seen in a long, long time.
Reviewer : Adam Weeks