“Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”: Covid’s Best Comedy

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Harrison Miracle, News Editor

The sequel to the 2006 classic mockumentary “Borat” was a spectacular and wildly inappropriate way to end 2020. Similar to the first one, it follows Kazakh journalist Borat and his interesting journey through the United States. This time, he’s hoping to marry his daughter to Mike Pence in order to improve relations with the US and Kazakhstan, and runs headfirst into conservative America along the way. Because this is going into a high school newspaper there’s only so much I can say, however I’ll do my best to explain why this film was great. Sacha Baron Cohen’s portrayal of the Kazakh journalist was once again brilliant, and his journey into the depths of far-right America was hilarious to watch. Cohen did not shy away from making direct jabs at our former president and his colleagues, and one instance involving Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani even led to widespread controversy. 

After having no luck in marrying his daughter Tutar to Mike Pence, Borat turns to marry her to Giuliani. To get them acquainted with one another, Tutar becomes a reporter and sets up an interview with Giuliani which, in fact, he actually thought he was legitimate and only found out it was rigged when he was caught in a bedroom with her making questionable gestures and Cohen stepped in to intervene. This was similar to many other instances in this movie, in which events or people were used in the film without it being staged or them ever realizing it. Included in this list was a CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference) event that featured Mike Pence, in which Baron Cohen snuck into by means of at first a Klan outfit (which the American Conservative Union threatened to sue him over) and then a Trump costume, and disrupted the event while Pence was speaking. Other instances included a right-wing rally in Washington in which Cohen performed a very controversial song for a lively conservative crowd, a synagogue in which he dressed in an extremely anti-Semitic outfit (with context, and Cohen himself is Jewish), and even going to random people’s houses, some of which he stayed at for multiple nights keeping in character the entire time. Each one of these encounters made for some darker but great comedy in exposing what some parts of The United States are really like, and it’s a kind of comedy you can’t find in many other places.

I think ultimately what makes these films great is that Cohen gives himself practically no limits, and a lot of his work is unscripted and filmed real time with real people. It leaves a lot of controversy and a lot for him to get criticized over, and even sued for, but it does make for a uniquely hilarious and entertaining experience. It’s not a film that can be critiqued as other films are, as it follows no rules of filmmaking and isn’t structured the same way. The only way this type of film can be judged is from its comedic effect, and “Borat 2” is certainly the best comedy of the year. Cohen has managed to defy the laws of Hollywood in a hilarious way, and I hope that this mockumentary does not mark the end of his work.