Politically Incorrect High Five
The fact that Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Delivery of Prodigious Bribe to American Regime for Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan isn’t the strangest thing to come from 2020, speaks volumes about the current state of the world.
The original Borat was a funny, satirical reflection on the good, bad and ugly side of society. All of this was wrapped up in the most politically incorrect, shocking and outright hilarious caricature imaginable. After the success of the 2006 film, it was always going to be difficult to follow that up with an equally endearing sequel.
On the surface, Borat 2 looks like an unnecessary follow-up. After all, this year has been satirical enough as it is. And yet Borat Subsequent Moviefilm is not just timely, it’s actually a really solid and well written sequel that cleverly stitches together a whole host of well written sketches with a simple but effective Father/daughter story.
For those unaware of Borat or any of its satirical big-screen cousins, this movie plays out as a satirical sketch show with numerous figureheads and different bystanders interviewed and goaded into releasing their darkest secrets.
Some are outright shocking (like getting a Texan rally cheering at literal deaths) while others are actually really touching and show the best side of humanity. This is usually interwoven around a simple but effective story that’s designed to be played for laughs.
What makes Borat 2 such an effective follow-up though is just how much depth this film actually has. On the surface level, you have the sketches themselves with the catchphrases and laugh out loud segments.
Underneath that façade though is a commentary woven around society, intending to showcase both the best and worst in people. Then you have the underlying themes and empowering angle this one takes, with Tutar growing and evolving across the movie.
Fans of the original Borat are likely to get more out of this film but the handy introductory montage here does help get you up to scratch on what’s going on.
The story nestles itself beautifully amongst the chaos of 2020, with Coronavirus and sensitive political divides providing plenty of comedic cannon fodder for Cohen. However, this also poses a particular problem for this English comic. This is addressed early on as Borat is recognized across the US.
To thwart this issue, our protagonist introduces his daughter, Tutar Sagdiyev, who manages to add an extra dimension to proceedings. The main story in this sequel essentially revolves around Borat returning to the USandA to marry off his daughter to Michael Pence.
When this fails to make an impression, Borat turns his attention to New York Governor Rudy Giuliani, who happens to fall into a pretty alarming situation with 15 year old Tutar late on. I won’t comment on what happens here but suffice to say it doesn’t look good.
But then that’s the beauty of Borat. From getting conservatives to happily sing along to “Cut ’em up like the Saudi’s do” or hearing two men agreeing that Democrats are more deadly than a pandemic, there’s something satirically hilarious and tragically unsettling with this movie.
The world is a pretty divided place right now and films like this are certainly not going to be everyone’s cup of tea – especially in America (and, presumably, Kazakhstan too). While this doesn’t quite hit the masterful strides the original achieved so effortlessly, this is a damn fine sequel and well worth a watch.
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Verdict - 8.5/10