Sunday, November 19, 2006
'Babel' & 'Borat'
Larry Charles's Borat begins in a fictional version of Kazakhstan, where horses pull cars and women are all prostitutes. Sacha Baron Cohen's incredible doofus Borat Sagdiev, who first appeared on his Da Ali G Show on HBO, arrives in America intent on filming a documentary. Borat is full of stunts and pranks that would make the Jackass guys proud. But Borat himself is so loveably stupid and profane, the movie is a blast to watch. At 84 minutes, it's like one long comedy sketch rather than a more elaborate movie. Traveling cross-country, with visits to rodeos, tent revivals and street corners, Borat has a lot in common with Road Trip. But Cohen, who's in every scene, makes the difference with his mild-mannered, "who me?" schtick.
Since when are rape, incest, beastiality, sodomy & abortion laughing matters? If any American father showed a photograph of his son's penis in public or on film, he would be put in jail for child pornography. Yet Borat supposedly exposes his "son's" nudity and we all laugh and point? What's wrong with this picture??
Black women are portrayed as whores, Americans are portrayed as drunks, bigots, religious fanatics. Jews are highly disrespected in this film. Russian citizens are misrepresented as being ignorant, incestuous people. Women are only referenced as sexual objects.
Borat crosses the line between borderline humor and outright vomitous material. The fact that this film was a hit reflects just how low our entertainment standards have fallen.