Borat and Borat Subsequent Moviefilm


In 2006, the cult-classic movie Borat was released and received critical reviews. Now, the movie gained a sequel that addresses both new and old societal issues that are exclusive to America through the lens of a comedic narrative. In the first installation, Borat, a well-known journalist in Kazakhstan played by Sacha Baron Cohen, is hired to film a documentary on America and discover what features make it such a prosperous nation. The true comedy lies in the audience’s perspective, where our own American customs look absolutely foreign. The film features real people and real events. The interesting thing about the film is that the fictional character Borat goes around on his misadventure as he drags real people into his antics. This was at a time before YouTube was even popularized. This concept was very ahead of its time.

The profane images in the movie are, although extremely inappropriate and definitely not suited for a school newspaper, integral to the overall quality of the movie. The movie shines light on extreme political views and other unpopular beliefs. It depicts these concepts as wise and intelligent (as Borat is an oblivious foreigner who looks up to these newly-found ideologies) while we the audience are well-aware that they’re not. Thus, the comedy lies within the dramatic irony. I think one overarching example is the fact that Borat is anti-Semitic despite the fact that the actor, Sacha Baron Cohen, is Jewish. Another huge aspect in the comedy is the non-stop act of defamation throughout the film. Almost all the time the jokes are at the expense of real people. So, Sacha Baron Cohen meticulously picked radical or popular politicians and celebrities to poke fun at, including former-vice president Mike Pence and Trump’s attorney, Rudy Guiliani in the second movie. Many segments of the film also feature well-prepared sight gags and physical humor, which enhances the show if it wasn’t good enough already. Examples include Borat defecating in front of a Trump Tower and Borat also letting a live chicken loose inside of a subway. These sketches and gags provide a hilarious plot when they are combined. Many of these anecdotal jokes are not only humorous, but they also provide a disturbing perception on how we Americans normalize many seemingly-absurd beliefs when seen in the lens of somebody outside of America.

The second installation of the series is set in our current time where Covid-19 is all over America. Borat somehow brings his antics into our Covid times and resides in a secluded house composed of far-right citizens. Borat’s pseudoscience beliefs align with his roommates and suddenly many things they say and do start to look less normal and look more radical upon a broader look. Nevertheless, the humor still stands as Borat walks around the house “hitting” the Covid around the house with a pan. The scariest part of the movies is that the events that take place in the first installment is just as relevant today as the second version. It seems that America fourteen years later has not changed its archaic issues. Only comedy used in movies like Borat can truly portray how absurd our modern problems are. Hopefully our Covid situation won’t last as long as the issues that were presented in the first movie.