The 400-Word Review - Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Delivery of Prodigious Bribe to American Regime fo
By Sean Collier
October 24, 2020
There are three ways to approach the sequel to “Borat.” None tell the full story.
You can approach the film — officially titled “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Delivery of Prodigious Bribe to American Regime for Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan” — as a near-brilliant comedy. It is perhaps the highest achievement of hidden-camera mayhem ever captured, a hilarious master class in comic timing.
This is due to Sacha Baron Cohen’s uncanny understanding of discomfort and human nature. But as much credit, if not more, is due to Maria Bakalova, the Bulgarian actress who plays Borat’s daughter, Tutar. She gamely matches Baron Cohen’s energy and proves herself wonderfully adept at drawing stunning reactions out of unexpecting civilians. The headline — okay, one headline — should be that Bakalova is a breakout star.
Alternatively, you can approach the film as pointed and stunning satire. The original “Borat” served the same role, exposing the beliefs (and apathies) Americans can display, even with cameras rolling — but things have changed in 15 years. “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm,” with both evidence and satire in equal measure, exposes the darkness and even hatred lurking in certain corners of American society.
Call it the banality of madness. In one scene, Baron Cohen’s unwitting co-stars earnestly express their belief that Hillary Clinton drinks the blood of tortured children. In another, a crowd of protesters — ironically, gathered to demand freedom — gleefully sing along with a disguised Borat advocating that journalists and scientists be dismembered “like the Saudis do.”
The shock, and the achievement, of “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm” is not that Baron Cohen has managed to find such people; it’s the demonstration that such people are very easy to find. This film exposes a conspiratorial, paranoid perspective that many of us prefer to believe exists only on the lunatic fringe. Here, we are forced to confront that it may be omnipresent.
Finally, you can view this film as news. Because, as has been widely reported, it contains a scene of a certain associate of the sitting President... how to phrase it? He’s eagerly preparing to engage in a sexual act with a (very) young reporter. It’s unfortunate that this incident will overshadow the significance of the film (which I think lies in the previous point).
Unfortunate, but understandable. You may have heard what America’s Mayor gets up to, but you won’t fully comprehend it until you see it.
My Rating: 9/10
“Borat Subsequent Moviefilm” is now streaming on Amazon Prime.