Review – Borat: Subsequent Moviefilm

slack-jawed horror

BoratI did not see Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan (2006). Fortunately, you do not have to have watched the first movie to understand Borat: Subsequent Moviefilm.

The man (Sacha Baron Cohen) is in serious, perhaps lethal, trouble with his home government and the population at large because he showed his country in a bad light with the first film. He has a chance, though, to redeem himself by offering a gift to a famous person.

That idea goes awry. Plan B involves his 15-year-old daughter Sandra (Maria Bakalova) and maybe Mike Pence. It is part of the “Delivery of Prodigious Bribe to American Regime for make Benefit Once Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan.”

Borat 2 shows the protagonist as a father who feeds his daughter a bunch of revolting lies about the nature of womanhood. To her credit, in time, she begins questioning them. And ultimately, the developing relationship between them is the most sustaining part of the film.

So THAT is what caused COVID!

But he seems to fit in well with Trump’s 2020 rallies, though even his new buddies question some of Borat’s most outlandish conspiracy theories. So it’s not what I’d call LOL funny stuff. Occasionally tasteless, yes. His anti-Semetic schtick, which he apparently did in the first movie, is gently brought up short here.

I think  David Sims hits on the core of the film in his review in The Atlantic.
It is “Less a Satire Than an Exposé.” “Borat, arguably, starts actually doing his job as a journalist—shining a light on the darkest corners of society and revealing them for what they are. By this point in the film, if you’re laughing, it’s likely in slack-jawed horror.”

The ultimate “cause” of the coronavirus actually makes sense in the context of the film. If this movie doesn’t entirely work for me, maybe it’s because the country has become more of a parody than he is. Yet I don’t regret the hour and a half I spent watching it.