Borat doesn’t live up to all of the hype

By John Fennell
November 17, 2006

Meghan Hurley

I am skeptical of any movie whose hype comes mainly from the internet. “Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan” found an initial following from many internet communities.

I find it hard to share in the excitement of a movie that develops a cult following through the internet. We all know the stereotypical person who inhabits the internet. Now I am in no way bashing said persons (I have the Star Trek wiki bookmarked on my computer) but they do tend to lean towards the zealous type.

Sacha Cohen, best known for his character Ali G, plays a television correspondent from the country of Kazakhstan filming a documentary about why America is the greatest country on earth. He uses broken English and confuses many aspects of American culture. At one point while at a rodeo Borat tells the crowd, “We support your war of terror.”

Borat films his trip from New York to Hollywood where he intends to ask Pamela Andersen to marry him. Along the way he stops to ask directions while on Martin Luther King Blvd. Here he learns how to wear his pants low and display other culturally black mannerism. At another point he finds himself inviting a prostitute to a dinner party in the high society South.

Kazakhstan was shown as an anti-Semitic third world country overrun with gypsies. This prompted the government of Kazakhstan to issue statements clarifying that the movie in no way represents their country.

The circumstances that Borat ends up in were predictable and the America- bashing stereotypes were over used. Many of the jokes used were drawn out to the point of “enough already.” At one point a decent five minutes were dedicated to two men wrestling naked in many a compromising positions.

I failed to see what all the hype was about. Much of the humor was overly simplistic and obvious. The social commentary on America was neither new nor earth shattering. I am not that far to the right that I object to America bashing in any form, I just prefer that it is done well with out resorting to fart jokes.

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John Fennell

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