BORAT SUBSEQUENT MOVIEFILM (AMAZON PRIME) (2020)
SYNOPSIS: To be more specific, this is the Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Delivery of Prodigious Bribe to American Regime for Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan. Chenqui!
Fourteen years ago, we were blessed with a mockumentary film titled Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan. The movie was outrageously rude, but also relevant for a world that needed to see reveals the racist, anti-Semite and sexist views that some people in the Western world had. More than a decade later, the Kazakh journalist is back. And this time, he is even more relevant for a world that has changed drastically over time. It is also interesting to note that he is making waves during this time of the year, where the USpresidential election is looming round the corner.
Like the first movie, the sequel is also hilariously titled. Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Delivery of Prodigious Bribe to American Regime for Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan gives us more of the satirical fictional character created and performed by Sacha Baron Cohen. Released from prison for bringing shame to his country (go rewatch the first film because if you were a fan because it will still make you laugh out loud), Borat gets an opportunity to redeem himself. His original mission was to deliver the Kazakh Minister of Culture Johnny the Monkey (yup, you read that right) to US Vice President Mike Pence, but circumstances has it that he has to gift his 15 year old daughter Tutar instead.
Fans of the first movie wouldn’t be disappointed. As you’d expect, the 96 film is a collection of pranks. While the question of whether some of them were staged for entertainment purpose remains, it is with no doubt that the jokes are offensive yet poignant. Depending on your preference for humour, the entire movie can be top notch comedy or a crude attempt at making viewers laugh. It’s obvious that this writer belongs to the former group of audience.
The pranks range from seemingly innocent ones where Borat buys a cage for Tutar to the more contentious ones where Borat meets a Holocaust survivor. Then there are the politically charged ones (which you may have read about from the massive social media coverage) where Borat crashes Pence’s speech and Tutar interviews Rudy Giuliani, President Donald Trump's personal lawyer. If you haven’t heard already, the prank involves Tutar posing as a reporter for a fake right wing news media and it ends with Giuliani in a compromising position. There can be non stop debate whether these are camera and editing tricks, but you have to hand it to the filmmakers for pulling this off.
Amidst the laughs, there is also quite a bit of heart in this movie. The bond between Borat and Tutar is, dare we say it, heartfelt. Essentially, this is a story about a father’s love for her daughter, regardless of how silly and ridiculous the premise may sound. Bulgarian actress Maria Bakalova takes on the role with Tutar with guts, and this experience will be one that the 24 year old will never forget.
The film ends with a plot twist that is apt for the current COVID-19 pandemic the world is battling. This is a story that the world needs and deserves right now – kudos to the filmmakers for such an incredible feat.
Review by John Li