Student Voice


June 20, 2024


‘Borat’ lives up to expectations ... NOT!

November 16, 2006

It seems that wherever you go, there is talk of “Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit of Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan,” the comedy chronicling a foreign journalist’s adventure visiting America. On his way, he creates a documentary for his fellow countrymen, exposing Americans far more than anyone could have realized.

During his journey, Borat ran into regular people in real situations, and it was funny to see how ignorant many Americans really are. Through this, the film also pokes fun at different regions of the United States.

While in New York City, Borat was repeatedly threatened violently and cursed at by other guys, who thought he was hitting on them. He does finally find acceptance and friendship at a gay pride parade, though he foolishly doesn’t realize who its participants are until the next day.

At a Texas rodeo, Borat is confronted with comments relating to his bushy mustache, which for some reason makes him look like a terrorist. To put these worried spectators at ease, he proclaims for our “war of terror,” so that when we win, “the president may drink the blood of every man, woman and child!” He subsequently received loud cheers from this war-mongering crowd.

Borat sought to fit in with several demographics, but was often unsuccessful. He tried to act like a hoodlum from the street to a group of young black men, but they couldn’t comprehend what he was saying so they laughed at him. He tried to socialize with feminists, offending them without meaning to do so.

It seemed as if the only people who accepted him were some southern frat boys who were probably too wasted to realize what they were doing to begin with. They proclaimed how slavery ought to be brought back while degrading women.

Easily the most politically incorrect film I’ve ever seen, as well as one of the most offensive, I really am surprised at how much the filmmakers were able to get away with. Though I’ve heard nothing but positive remarks about it from friends, classmates and coworkers, I just didn’t think it was all that terrific.

I do realize that it is a comedy, and therefore it shouldn’t be taken literally, but I still couldn’t help but feel that at times this film was inappropriate and offensive; particularly when it came to the horrifying extended scenes of male frontal nudity. I had my hands over my eyes for the first time in years, wishing that it would finally stop.

I do understand that the purpose of this film is to represent a man who behaves backward, for he probably feels the same way about our practices. But I still believe that I’ve seen better comedies in the past—ones that didn’t make me feel as uncomfortable.

We learn that Borat and his neighbors are terrified of Jews. He isn’t able to buy a gun to kill any of them, so he gets a bear as a means of protection. In real life, the actor (Sacha Baron Cohen) is Jewish, so I suppose it is okay to persecute your own heritage.

As noted before I know plenty of people who absolutely loved it, so I suppose it matters on the types of comedies you’re into.

Perhaps I’m just too serious for this flick. It’s probably just one of those films where you’d really need to be hyped to enjoy it.

Nick Welsh is a student at UW-River Falls.