By Juan Calvillo
Amazon’s “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm” straddles the line between hilarious and sobering as it skewers American ideals while also telling a story of reconciliation.
The original Borat movie, which premiered 14 years ago, had the benefit of starring an almost unknown character which made interactions authentic.
This time around Sacha Baron Cohen, who plays the titular Borat Sagdiyev, uses new disguises and Borat’s daughter to take people by surprise.
“Borat Subsequent Moviefilm” picks up 14 years after the events of the original, showing the effects stardom and notoriety has had not only on Borat, but on his home country.
Through a series of events, Borat is once again sent to the United States for a special mission and gift for current Vice President Mike Pence.
Along the way, Borat gets into a multitude of offensive, uncomfortable and simply odd side stories.
The most famous is a particularly funny and very off putting interview between Borat’s 15-year-old daughter and Rudy Giuliani.
All of the hijinks culminate in a hilarious ending that is explained in a series of quick cut flashbacks and may lead to some very interesting “fake news” postings in the near future.
The side story is the changing relationship between Borat and his daughter Tutar Sagdiyev.
This is where “Moviefilm” shows that the “Borat” movies are more than just critiques of American culture and ideals.
From the onset the movie shows that there is a disparity between men and women, even in families, in Borat’s country of Kazakhstan.
This leads to some over-the-top sexist moments that are both repulsive and hilarious to watch.
The heart warming part of this film comes from an understanding that Borat finds not from the rhetoric that is spewed by American culture, but by the heartfelt perspective of just one average American person.
The lesson learned about family, understanding and equality more than make up for some of the more tasteless comedic moments Cohen creates for the film.
Tutar is played by Bulgarian actress Maria Bakalova.
Bakalova plays Tutar with the same deadpan delivery of over- the-top statements Cohen uses for Borat.
She even one ups Cohen in some of the scenes they share. Her change from country yokel to a more self-assured young woman is fun to watch and show the same type of growth that Cohen’s Borat makes in this and in the original film.
The film’s score is very reminiscent of the original music.
There is a standout in the music though. About two thirds into the film, Cohen decides to sing a thoroughly racist and hate-filled song that is destined to become an instant classic when talking about Borat as a character.
This song and a myriad of other moments in the film remind audiences that the United States is made up of very many different people.
“Moviefilm” decides early on to show a side of the U.S. that many people would enjoy leaving out of the history books.
Here is where Cohen pulls off his “great success.”
It is in the total honest and realistic look at what people are like that Cohen lays bare for the audience to become informed and make their decision on what type of country the U.S. is and can become.
It has always been what the characters Cohen creates attempt to do, be mirrors to those that are an audience.
Borat is part of Cohen’s diverse set of characters that he created during his early cable show “Da Ali G Show.”
Despite coming so many years after the original, “Moviefilm” proves that Cohen is still a master of comedy.
“Borat Subsequent Moviefilm” is rated R for pervasive strong crude and sexual content, graphic nudity and language. The movie is available to stream on Amazon Prime now.