BORAT – Film Review

Outrageous situations occur when Borat Sagdiyev (Sacha Baron Cohen), a popular reporter from Kazakhstan, comes to the United States to film a documentary on what makes America a great nation. Along the way, he manages to offend just about everyone he meets, fall in love with actress Pamela Anderson and sets forth on a cross-country journey to make her his wife.

Few movies are more offensive yet outrageously hilarious as Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan is. Yes, that is the actual full title of the film. It’s a movie that has such a tight and compact script that truly never has a dull moment in sight.

I have a funny story about Borat and the first time I was going to watch it. I wanted to go to the theatre with my parents to watch it when I was just six years old. Yes. You read that right. When I was that age, I managed to stumble across some old YouTube videos of the Borat character getting up to his various shenanigans and I thought he was hilarious even back then. When I found out that he was getting his own movie, I was destined to see it.

However, my parents knew that taking a six-year-old to the movie theatre to see an R rated movie would not be the best idea and decided to leave me at home while they went out to see it. I would just have to wait until the home video release which I could handle. My parents went to the theatre and they had an extremely difficult time finding a seat. When they arrived, there were only two seats left and they took them. When they got home, they still had smiles on their faces and were chuckling about how funny the film was.

Courtesy of 20th Century Fox

In all honesty, Borat is a cultural phenomenon. It’s so amazing how a film about a crazy television personality from Kazakhstan could turn into such a profitable and wildly successful movie. After the release of the film, practically everybody knew who Borat was and fell in love with the character, myself included.

But what makes Borat such a fun and hilarious ride? It’s largely thanks to Sacha Baron Cohen. In the role of the titular character, he feels completely off-the-rails and free to do and say whatever he pleases. Part of the joy of watching the film is not knowing what crazy mess he will end up in next but it’s always so much fun to see what he does. You know that whatever he has up his sleeve next will surely be something that is massively offensive and insane.

Borat is one of the most offensive movies ever made. Many people will watch it and say that it is abhorrent and disgusting and I completely understand that. The comedy on display here is certainly not going to be for everyone, but for myself and many others, this is one of the funniest films in existence.

It’s amazing how well-paced is too. It has a running time of only eighty-four minutes but it never feels as short as it is. By the time the movie comes to an end, you will feel like you could have watched a three-hour version of the film with no issues whatsoever.

When I was growing up, my parents and I used to go on camping trips in our small trailer frequently. In the trailer, we had a small television set up so we could put on a movie before we all went to bed for the night. On almost every trip we went on, my dad brought the DVD of Borat with him to put on in the trailer. I have seen Borat way too many times to count and yet it still manages to make me laugh so hard I nearly have tears in my eyes.

To be honest, there isn’t anything that I don’t love about Borat. It’s a hilarious film filled with tons of iconic moments and never has a dull moment anywhere in sight. Here’s hoping the upcoming sequel is just as good, if not better.

Thanks to its wildly eccentric and remarkably hilarious lead performance from Sacha Baron Cohen, Borat is a non-stop laugh riot and one of the best comedies ever.

Overall Grade: A+

MPAA Rating: R for pervasive strong crude and sexual content including graphic nudity, and language

Cast: Sacha Baron Cohen

Directed by: Larry Charles

Distributed by: 20th Century Fox

Release Date: November 3, 2006

Running Time: 84 minutes

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