Monday, November 06, 2006

Borat... High Five!

You must go see Borat. Seriously. Stop reading this blog right now and go see the movie. Why are you still here? Shut down your browser, save your documents, feed your dog, and get in your SUV and go see Borat now.

I saw it Friday night and since then I haven't been able to think of a single movie that I would consider funnier than Borat. At an hour and twenty minutes, I would guess that there were at least 75 brilliantly crafted gags. That comes out to about a laugh a minute. In fact, when I think of it like that, I would say that were probably closer to a hundred. I never stopped laughing. I missed jokes because I was already laughing so hard. My ribs ached when I left the theater. The last movie to do that was There's Something About Mary and this movie is a hundred times funnier than all of the Farrelly brothers' movies combined.

Much has been made about how offensive the movie is. I really wasn't offended. To be offended is to misunderstand what Borat represents. While obviously a sexist, racist and rabid anti-Semite (to name a few), he isn't malicious. He's merely the product of an ignorant propagandized upbringing. Ironically, he uses sexism, racism and anti-Semitism to expose those same traits in the unwitting people he encounters.

Borat comes from the nation of "Khazakhstan". I put that in quotes because really the Khazakhstan he comes from is a fictional place which has made him into the backwards, ignorant, innocent doofus he is. For instance, while Borat talks often about his hatred of the Jews, we are treated to his village's festival "The Running of the Jew". The "Jews" portrayed in this "festival" are so offensive, depicting them as green beastly creatures with giant heads, that one can't help but wonder if anyone in that village has ever met a Jew. When Borat and his companion encounter a Jewish couple later in the movie, it is clear that he has not. The character (played by Sacha Baron Cohen, himself a Jew) is clearly intended to expose racism and anti-Semitism as being rooted in ignorance and propaganda.

You give the deeply flawed Borat a pass because you know that deep down, he's as a sweet, sensitive man who is risking everything he has to find true love with C.J. from Baywatch. In fact, when it becomes clear to him that the actress who played C.J. is nothing like her in real life, it nearly destroys him. But you already know all this because you went to see the movie four paragraphs ago.

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