Borat: overrated, unnecessary, but hilarious

By Nicoletta Sabella
December 1, 2006

As many have seen, the character Borat from “Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan” has done a good job at stirring up controversy. But it doesn’t really faze me too much.

Sacha Baron Cohen, currently best known as his role in Borat, grew to his fame in his British comedy show, “Da Ali G Show.” In the show, Sacha plays three different reporters. Ali G, the main host of the show, who is a hip-hop-rapper Brit that speaks in slang; Bruno, the flamboyant fashionista with a “faux hawk” and Borat, correspondent from Kazakhstan that speaks broken-English and claims the outlandish acts he does on interviews is natural in “his country.”

For anybody who has watched “Da Ali G Show,” it is hard not to laugh at how the interviewees respond. So, if all of this satire was going on in Britain, why is it such a big deal now that it has come to America?

There are some American comedians that have been making fun of hillbilly confederates for some time now, but Borat goes above and beyond.

Director Larry Charles has worked on other shows such as “Seinfeld,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and “Entourage.” With that said, one can only expect such over-the-top, extreme offensiveness; I love it for the mere fact that it is out there, it is known and it should be exposed.

From those who are sexist, racist, homophobic and anti-religious, Borat pushes the envelope by exploiting each and every one of them. Cohen’s goal for this character is to unveil the true feelings of some Americans who strongly believe in these.

Along his journey, Borat interrogated conversations of how women are inferior to men with a Winnebago-full of drunken college students. He spoke to an old cowboy who tells Borat that he should shave his beard because he looks like a Muslim terrorist. Christian fanatics also scorn him because he brings a scantily clad “friend” over for dinner.

He also has a lot of anti-Semitic jokes, such as saying that the Jews were responsible for the attacks on 9/11. These are just a handful of the shenanigans that Borat proceeds to do throughout the film.

In my opinion, the film really wasn’t as good as all the hype made it out to be.

I thought it was a little overrated in fact. A small fraction of it was unnecessary. But I do admit that Cohen is a genius for bringing to life his outrageous foreigner alter ego to the silver screen. It is important to break the barriers and make light of the radical and suppressing individuals that are still throughout the United States. I thought it was a fantastic mockery of the faults that America has.

So if you do decide to go see Borat insulting Americans, I just hope you laugh at him and not with him.

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Nicoletta Sabella

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