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Borat (2006)

20th Century Fox

Cast: Sacha Baron Cohen, Pamela Anderson (cameo).

Rating: R.

Run time: 82 mins

Genre: Comedy.

Verdict: Beautiful (see rating system)

Borat is the invention of English comedian Sacha Baron Cohen, a smart ass who enjoys embarrassing people.

Baron Cohen plays Borat, a pretend TV reporter from Kazakhstan in eastern Europe - a country he portrays as dirt poor and populated by backward, inbred peasants.

The setup for this spoof documentary is that Borat goes to America to learn about its culture, and winds up interviewing a lot of people who don‘t realize they’re being “had“. They include a Southern family trying to teach him table manners to a group of feminists explaining women's rights.

During his ride across the U.S., Borat also falls in love with Baywatch star Pamela Anderson after seeing her on TV and his bid to meet her leads to some funny situations. One of them is definitely not seeing Borat and his extremely fat manager wrestling naked after Borat catches him masturbating over a photo of Anderson. YUK!

Baron Cohen makes sure the Yanks don’t come off looking too well, and while there are plenty of laughs, I ended up feeling sorry for some his victims who were only trying to help a foreigner understand America.

Jews, women, minorities, gays and others are frequently insulted. While Baron Cohen is Jewish, it doesn’t excuse some of the rather malicious humour here. For example, “The running of the Jew” is a spoof Kazakhstani equivalent of Spain’s “Running of the Bull”.

Borat is crude schoolboy humour that has made buckets of money at the box office. Wildly funny in parts, very embarrassing in others, but Baron Cohen is to be admired to bringing a fresh approach to the comedy genre.

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