KAYLA MARTHALER, TRUMPET MANAGING EDITOR
On the surface, it might seem simple: a movie about an obviously foreign man with a thick accent, a complete lack of understanding of American culture, and a humorously oblivious disposition.
But is there more to “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm” than this derogatory stereotype of a character?
As the name suggests, “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm” is a sequel to “Borat,” originally released in 2006. In it, Sacha Baron Cohen plays Borat, a popular reporter from the country of Kazakhstan. Borat comes to the United States to film a documentary on what makes America a great country.
While he is in the U.S., he falls in love with actor Pamela Anderson. He sets out on an outrageous journey across the country to meet Anderson. He manages to make the entire journey awkward and cringeworthy for everyone involved. As unpleasant as that might sound, Borat was filled with hilarious social commentary and many laugh-out-loud moments.
What makes “Borat” and “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm” so interesting and different is that Cohen is one of very few actors in the film. Cohen acts out the movie in front of real people. Traveling through America posing as an intolerance-spewing misogynist, he uses “guerilla tactics”: impromptu actions often without authorization that coax real reactions out of real people.
This second social experiment of a movie is not nearly as daring as the original, as people had seen these tactics and Cohen before. The opening of the movie focuses on how Borat was recognized by many people on the street as they were attempting to film, thus causing Borat to buy multiple ridiculous disguises that he wears throughout the movie.
In “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm,” Borat returns to America for a second time. The sequel is very much in line with the first movie, still filled with political commentary and edgy jokes as it takes on the topics of the COVID-19 pandemic and the 2020 election. Cohen creates a brilliant showcase of satire and perfectly blends comedy and social issues.
It’s a comedy that is as funny as it is insightful and paints a more light-hearted picture of the perils of today’s government and health crises.
“Borat Subsequent MovieFilm” takes a big stand on difficult political subjects and delivers it with uncomplicated, digestible anecdotes. The risks that Cohen took in this movie – both artistic and personal – are astonishing and make this movie a truly entertaining exhibition. In the words of Borat, “very nice!”
You can watch “Borat Subsequent MovieFilm,” as well as the original “Borat,” on Amazon Prime Movies.