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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Borat’ turns the tables on American culture

    Mustachioed trickster Sacha Baron Cohen is the mastermind behind Borat, the controversial new satire that tackles everything from anti-Semitism to Pamela Anderson.
    Mustachioed trickster Sacha Baron Cohen is the mastermind behind ‘Borat,’ the controversial new satire that tackles everything from anti-Semitism to Pamela Anderson.

    For those of you greeted by cries of “”Yakshemash!”” or other such one-liners for the next couple of weeks, don’t worry if you don’t understand it; it doesn’t mean you’re even drunker than usual. It’s just another sign of the movie “”Borat”” permeating into our culture.

    Sacha Baron Cohen expands upon his character, Borat, who is notorious for creating awkward situations by setting up unsuspecting people in the HBO series “”Da Ali G Show.””

    In “”Borat: Cultural Learnings of America For Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan,”” Borat is the top television producer in all of Kazakhstan. The government commissions Borat to head to America with a film crew to document the successes of our country, which it hopes to replicate in Kazakhstan.

    Borat takes on a new mission, though, when he happens to stumble across some “”Baywatch”” reruns on the hotel TV. His new goal is to find the lead actress, Pamela Anderson, and make her his wife. Borat, his producer (Ken Davitian) and their pet bear take off in an ice cream truck on a road trip across middle America to reach his beloved.

    ‘Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan’
    Rated R
    84 minutes
    Fox Producction

    Before the movie was even released, Kazakhstan tried to separate itself from the possible negative attention it would receive by disassociating itself from “”Borat.”” The bad publicity however, falls squarely on the shoulders of America.

    Although Kazakhstan is shown briefly onscreen as a horrible Third World country (with non-working cars being pulled by horses), the Americans Borat encounters are completely ignorant and showcase the worst kinds of stereotypes. Three fraternity boys who give Borat a ride to California are shocked to hear that in the Russian region, women are not men’s slaves. In addition, every time Borat makes an anti-Semitic joke, he is sadly greeted with eager ears.

    While “”Borat”” does present bathroom humor and all sorts of dirty jokes, it’s a much more complex comedy than people may give it credit for. Borat speaks in broken English, and it’s actually his entanglement of words that lends to the comedy of the scenes. Were it not so carefully scripted, it could have come off as bad as the speech skills of Jar Jar Binks.

    Fortunately, by the end of “”Borat,”” you’re not dying to rip off his head like many felt toward Jar Jar; the improper use of words actually makes the ordinary people interacting with Borat misunderstand the context and cause them to say far more stupid things. A perfect example of this is when Borat precedes his singing of the national anthem at a rodeo in Texas with a speech saying he supports America’s “”war of terror.”” The crowd cheers along, not knowing that a prank has even been pulled on them.

    While “”Borat”” may be meant as a light-hearted comedy, at the end you find yourself questioning whether it really is. It’s funny to laugh in the theater at the people who went along with Borat’s outrageousness, but it’s sad to think these were actually real people, not actors, who agreed with it in the first place.

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