Chris Walsh (chris_walsh) wrote,
Chris Walsh

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Borat say "Pamela against cruelty to animals??!!!"



I saw Borat. I laughed, explosively. I squirmed, squirmingly. I flinched, frequently.

I lost track of how many different flavors of wrong that flick is. But, yes, as shocking as it is, and as uncomfortable as it'll make you...oh my God, it's funny. Its story set-up: Writer-actor Sacha Baron Cohen plays Borat, an ignorant and multi-phobic reporter from Kazakhstan, who travels America (or as Borat calls it, "the U.S. and A.") for an educational video for his audience back home. He finds a better reason to travel when he sees Baywatch for the first time, and decides he's in love with Pamela Anderson and must marry her and "make great Sexy Time" with her, so then he's trying to find her. Chaos ensues I mean, chaos escalates throughout this trip:

Borat gets himself invited to sing at a rodeo, and changes the lyrics of "The Star Spangled Banner" to lyrics about how great Kazakhstan is, getting booed in the process. He brings a prostitute to a Southern mansion. He hires a bear for protection (really). He shakes first hands and then more intimate body parts of guys in a Gay Pride parade. He tells Bob Barr (yes, of Congress) that it is both tradition and great Kazakh delicacy to eat cheese made from a woman's breast milk. In short, Borat makes people uncomfortable, but in that discomfort they start saying things they normally wouldn't, at least not out loud. (Yes, a gun-shop owner has a ready answer to the question "What would be good gun for shooting a Jew?")

As it happens, I saw Borat in the same screening room where I saw Snakes on a Plane -- in fact, that was the last time until tonight I'd even been to a movie theater. And it was packed. Not only that, but the screening I'd aimed for (8:15) was sold out. I bought a ticket for the 10:30 show and killed time driving up to the Gateway Tower Records, which (I was surprised to find out) is going out of business, so I bought some CDs and a DVD on sale. And then there was the wait for the film (yes, people with tickets were lined up over an hour before showtime). And then there was the wide-eyed viewing of the film, being amazed at how intense an experience it is and how thoroughly in character Baron Cohen stays. (I'm honestly surprised no one on the film got arrested doing it.)

So: oh. Oh.
Tags: film reviews

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