Borat: Subsequent Moviefilm proves that Sacha Baron Cohen has not lost his comedic power — this sequel is full of laugh-out-loud moments along with nerve-racking gags crashing through the Trump era. It's a comedy that's full of heart; as we navigate our way through this scary new age of misinformation and alternative facts. Borat 2 is a movie 2020 desperately needs. Very Nice!
2006's Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan hit the U.S. like a firestorm. This mockumentary comedy featured real-life interactions with Americans, poking fun at our prejudices involving each other and real-world events. Sacha Baron Cohen's character (Borat Sagdiyev) is a fictional journalist from the country of Kazakhstan who travels through the United States. Borat is known for his racist views towards the Jewish community and also his misogyny. These types of prejudices and antisemitism built into Borat's character allowed Cohen to get people to let their guard down, unveiling their own forms of bigotry. Cohen, himself is Jewish, which adds to the layer of satire he is trying to convey on screen. Now, 14-years later, Borat returns to a country that has rapidly changed in the era of Trump. In Borat: Subsequent Moviefilm, Cohen's character is reflecting on what it means to be his authentic self in this scary new world of ours. Borat has become an outcast in his home of Kazakhstan because his 2006 documentary made the country a laughing stock.
Borat gets a second chance to redeem himself by traveling back to the U.S. and giving his daughter Tutar (played by a hilarious Maria Bakalova) as a prize to Vice President Mike Pence. Well, originally, it was a special monkey, but I won't spoil that gag. So that Borat is not executed; he decides to give away his daughter Tutar as the next best option. Bakalova is the breakout star in this movie — she steals every scene that she is in. Bakalova is hilarious, while she is also cunning. Line after line, Bakalova's performance soars to new heights. Bakalova deserves a Golden Globe nomination for her outstanding comedic performance. Also, her scenes with Jeanise Jones are sweet and caring. Ms. Jones is probably one of the nicest people you will ever meet. Borat and Tutar travel all around the U.S. in this sequel — crashing the CPAC, dancing at a debutante ball, tackling the Pandemic (COVID), and even mocking a March for Our Rights rally in Olympia, Washington. During the far-right rally scene, Cohen literally put his life at risk and was wearing a bulletproof vest.
Cohen even got the crowd to join into singing a xenophobic song. This scene will have your anxiety through the roof — it made me feel like I was watching Uncut Gems again. Behind the scenes, Cohen had to run for his life and almost got pulled out of a moving trailer. Borat: Subsequent Moviefilm goes deeper than it's predecessor by blending activism and comedy throughout. Since the start of social media, disinformation has been continuing to run rampant, growing from outside fringe groups and into the mainstream. QAnon is a great example of that. For a long time, Cohen has been an outspoken critic of big tech companies and their complacency towards fact-checking misinformation. A prime example has been the scary trend towards Holocaust deniers growing on sites like Facebook and YouTube. Cohen decided to tackle this issue in his newest film. There's a scene where Borat has given up on hope because he finds out that the Holocaust is a "myth" by a Holocaust deniers group on Facebook. Borat decides to commit suicide by going to a synagogue and dressing up as a stereotypical Jew. This scene starts off highly offensive and is uncomfortable to watch.
However, Borat meets two real-life Holocaust survivors (the late Judith Dim Evans being one of them) during his time at the synagogue. It's an important scene because these two elderly ladies treat him with kindness, looking past his bigotry. Cohen put this scene in to demonstrate the importance of history, activism, and making sure future generations do not forget about the past, like the Holocaust. Sources have said that Cohen ended up breaking character behind the scenes to reveal to the two ladies what he was trying to capture. Borat: Subsequent Moviefilm's shock value is still there, and the cringe-worthiness is stronger than ever. Cohen has outdone himself, proving his point at how deeply divided our country is and how conspiracy groups are growing at an alarming rate. The film ends with an outrageous gag on Rudy Giuliani, which I will not spoil for you. Borat: Subsequent Moviefilm is the same satire and mockumentary as the first film, but this time around, it's made with a higher blend of awareness and activism. As our country goes deeper down a rabbit hole of conspiracies and violence, Borat and Tutar are peddling their way out screaming at us to wake up. So, wake up America, the time is now. And please, wear a mask.
Borat: Subsequent Moviefilm is rated R (Restricted). Graphic Nudity, Strong Crude & Sexual Content, Language.
Directed by Jason Woliner
Starring Sacha Baron Cohen and Maria Bakalova.
Stream now only on Amazon Prime Video.
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