If you would believe all the hype surrounding Sacha Baron Cohen's Borat movie, which is coming out later this week, then the movie is designed to corrupt and pervert our minds, will mean the end for the public image of Kazachstan and will drag down the standard of movie entertainment to depths never before seen. If you don't believe the hype and just watch the picture to have a good time, however, you will probably be thoroughly entertained, as long as you keep an open mind for what is happening on the screen. A very open mind!
In Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan, the titular star reporter is sent to America by the government of his home country, Kazachstan. They want to improve the standard of living in their country, and see America as a great example of how to do this. So Borat packs up his belongings and sets off together with his manager, to film everyday life in America and pick up a valuable lesson here and there. Seems like the perfect educational type of movie to take your kids to, right? Well... If you have ever seen an episode of the Ali G show, you will know that Borat is not your typical kind of reporter. He's obsessed with having 'sexy time', follows the learnings of his country by the letter (women don't have any rights, gays even less), and spouts racist and misogynistic remarks whenever he has the opportunity. If you would take this seriously, you can take a major offense against this movie and it's main character. But if you see it for what it is, politically incorrect comedy, then you are quaranteed a great time with this movie.
Many people have taken offense with this movie, most of all the government of Kazakhstan. They consider this movie to be bad publicity for their country, and feel that it shows both the country and it's people in a bad light. What they don't seem to understand, however, is that this movie is nothing more than a parody, and that, when you think about it, it's actually America that is made fun of more so than Kazachstan. Borat has a knack for finding people who don't really show their country in a very positive light. The only really offensive things said in this movie are not the words from Borat's mouth, but the words from some of his interviewees, who are actually serious about the racist and derogatory stuff they spout. Seen in that way, Borat is not just a comedy, but also gives insight into an America that you don't see in the big budget popcorn movies and squeaky clean TV-sitcoms. It's eye opening, though you have to keep in mind that Sascha baron Cohen and the other people behind this movie have probably done their very best to find some of the most offensive people possible.
But when you forget about all the hype surrounding this movie and just look at it as a piece of entertainment, then Borat is great fun. Not all the interviews are as interesting, and 90 minutes seemed a bit long, but this movie is filled with scenes that you will talk with your friends about long after the credits have rolled. And it's remarkable that it's actually not the interviews that will stand out as the most 'remarkable' scene in this movie. Just wait for the scene where Borat and his manager get into a heated argument in their hotel room. It will probably take you a longer time to get those images out of your mind than anything that is said during the whole movie!