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“Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan” Will Make You Laugh and Think

Sacha Baron Cohen as Borat in 20th Century Fox's Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan

by The Maven and The Blonde

Titles like that wreck havoc with 'Windows' grammar and spell check, however that is nothing compared to what this film does to political correctness. In case you haven't heard of Borat Sagdiyev, he is a character created by British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen (“Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby” and “Da Ali G Show”). Sacha graduated from Cambridge University with a degree in history. His thesis was about the role of Jewish people in the American Civil Rights Movement. He comes from a middle class Jewish family and is known to be an observant Jew. Borat does not have the same background. He is a television broadcaster from Kazakhstan and he is coming to America to learn about our culture. Once here, Borat experiences all there is to know about us. No aspect of our culture is overlooked. He unwittingly exposes racism, ignorance, gay-bashing, misogyny, gun-loving and war mongering in the very heart of America. The most important aspect of this film is that the situations he involves himself in are all real. There are no actors, except Pamela Anderson, Ken Davitian and Luenell the hooker. The society diners, rodeo crowds, drunk frat boys and Pentecostal churchgoers are all real people in real situations. They believe they are meeting with a television journalist from Kazakhstan. It is truly amazing that the production staff was able to get these people to sign release forms. In case you are wondering where you have seen the producer of “Borat,” Azamat Bagtov, he is played by Ken Davitian, a bit actor in such shows as “The Closer,” “Boston Legal” and the movie “Holes.”

Sacha wrote this film with Anthony Hines, Peter Baynham and Don Mazor. It was directed by Larry Charles. Just to point out how great the producers and the studio was in its thinking, “Borat” opened in 800 theatres. Most movies open in more than 2,000 theaters. Yet, the film still made $26.4 million. The second week they went into a more wide distribution and they still finished first. Amazing!

The Blonde: This film was a riot. It was like Lenny Bruce meets Andy Kaufman meets Jon Stewart meets the Jerky Boys! There is so much to be said about this film. To begin with, it was an absolute joy to watch a film that disguises its total political views by using spoof and humor. I know a lot of my Jewish friends were insulted by this film. However, the way I see it, they should be happy that someone showed how ridiculous those false accusations are. Sacha was simply using this spoof to bring that out, and whom better to do that than a fellow Jew! Next, I must say that all of the characters did such a brilliant acting job. You almost believed that they were real. Well done!

The Maven: HOW CAN SOMETHING BE SO IN YOUR FACE OBVIOUS AND YOU NOT CATCH ON? YOU GIVE BLONDES EVERYWHERE A BAD NAME! FOR GOODNESS SAKE, THEY WERE NOT ACTORS; THEY WERE REAL PEOPLE. YOU NEED TO GO BACK AND SEE IT AGAIN THE RIGHT WAY! BLONDE! It is so refreshing when something comes along that has no equal. I first saw “Borat” briefly on “Da Ali G Show.” Some of Ali's interviews were funny, but I really didn't get him. I did like the character Bruno, who was a gay fashion commentator with a Nazi fetish. I understand he is making a film with this character. Sacha is brilliant in the way he immerses himself in a character. He doesn't break character. Even when the police were called, he stayed in the Borat persona. It is a little scary to know that there are such small-minded people in my own country, namely the rodeo guys, frat boys and anti-Semites. I never heard of a humor coach either. I can think of a lot of people who could use a coach like that.

The Blonde: All the scenes, except the naked fighting one, had something important to say. (Well actually it does teach us not to fight with a naked fat man! It was kinda gross!) Even though the frat boys were obnoxious, I did like the way they befriended Bogart!

The Maven: BORAT!

The Blonde: Well, him too! The scene where he was invited to the dinner party was unbelievable, not only because it was amazing that they were so kind and patient with him, but that he pulled it off without cracking up. The scene with the etiquette teacher was priceless as well. In addition, they were lucky they weren't killed on the way out of the rodeo! I don’t think the Mav and I would have embraced him as kindly as the people in this film did. I mean, the innocence, kindness and sweetness of that Jewish couple could almost make you cry if you weren’t laughing so much! The whole crew must have had a ball making this film. Hey Mav, we should make our own film!

The Maven: Hey, wait a minute! I would have been nice to him, don’t include me in that! YES, granted, I would have been laughing behind his back, but I would have been nice!

The Blonde: Oh right! Well, maybe...but only because you like hairy men! By the way, I loved Pamela Anderson in this film. That whole Pamela thing was very funny!

The Maven: I am sure our readers wouldn't mind us basking in the glow of the recent election results. I am just so happy that no major glitches in the voting machines took place. Maybe it is time to put effort into a more secure way of voting. Let us all take a moment to say farewell to Donald Rumsfeld. Blonde, that gesture was rude and not very ladylike.

The Blonde: WELL, EXCUUUUSE ME! It is about time that man left his post. Long overdue if you ask me!

The Maven: Let's all give a cheer for those who came out and showed what democracy can be. The majority was unhappy with the course the country was on and we changed a few things. Corrupt politicians were unable to get in our way, this time. So, Blonde, enjoy your basking.

The Blonde: Basking, I am tanning in it! I am golden brown. It just burns me up that for "oh so long", the right-wing Republicans put down the Dems and claim to be so moral and righteous, when all along they were raping, lying, cheating, being corrupt, stealing, living by their own agenda, and putting down gays for their life-style; even when they are gay themselves. Talk about hypocritical! Now with a new start, we can really find out what has been going on for the last six years! If you ask me, our government has really gotten out of control and down right stupid!

The Maven: Speaking of stupid... I bet Tom Cruise feels a little stupid right now. Here he was planning this amazing wedding in Italy and now he discovers it's 'Mission Impossible'. How could he forget that he is a divorced man? As such, he needs special permission from the church to marry in a church owned parish. Here, all he wants is to please his future in-laws with a Catholic ceremony and it's the Catholics who are making it difficult.

The Blonde: Is he a Republican too?

The Maven: OH, Leave him alone. He has enough problems without speaking about his political views!

The Blonde: Are you taking nice pills this week?

The Maven: If you haven't seen “Borat” yet, go see it. If you don't see the humor in it, maybe you should go see that humor coach. I never thought I would laugh so hard watching two naked, hairy men fighting. I rate this film an A for its achievement in showing the absurdity in our culture and making it humorous as well.

The Blonde: By the way, readers don’t miss the film “Queen.” It was wonderful! Helen Mirren was breathtaking. She is sure to be nominated for an Oscar for her totally outstanding and believable portrayal of Queen Elizabeth. As for “Borat,” go and see it but… see it with having fun in mind. I rate it a B for its originality and bravery in filming it. For your film snacks, go and find a Kazakhstan candy bar. That will keep you busy for a while!

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