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Sunday, November 05, 2006

Borat: Cultural learnings of America......



The funniest movie.......ever?

A great case can be made.

I don't think there's a way to describe the giddy laughter, and joy I experienced while watching this film.

To be honest it's been a long time since I felt and shared that kind of experience in a movie theatre. I have to think way back to the time I first saw the movie Airplane with a full house. I was pretty young at the time, but the laughter and joy I remember the audience experiencing had a profound, almost traumatic affect on me.

It was laughter that hurt. Rolling laughter that had people gasping for air.

Literally people were in pain from laughing so much.

Walking away from the theatre, I remember people wiping their eyes from the tears of laughter.

To be honest I never thought I'd experience that again.

Until now.

Borat: The Cultural learnings of America for make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan will probably go down as one of the five funniest movies...... of all time.

I feel silly writing a synopsis of the film. The concept of the film is pretty simple.

Borat, a wildly racist, crude, and simple minded reporter from a fictional backwards Kazakhstan is making a documentary about people he encounters...along the way he becomes obsessed with Pamela Anderson.

That's it.

It's amazing how many laughs he's able to illicit with such a simple premise.

I laughed.....hard about every 30 seconds during the film.

Literally.

I wasn't the only one.

At one point during my screening people started to applaud wildly when a hilarious scene concluded, I even saw some people standing up.

For a movie.

We're talking flashing lights here.

A standing ovation for a projected image.

From the moment that the credits started rolling the laughter began. There was never a moment that I felt the audience felt bored or distracted, we were all glued to the screen.

I'm pretty sure that if a fire started in the theatre nobody would have noticed.

No joke.

Besides the genius of Cohen, I think a lot of credit has to go to Larry Charles for his fine direction.

Rather than trying to re-invent the wheel, Charles sticks closely to the format that worked so well on Da Ali G Show.

Borat interacts with unsuspecting subjects who unknowingly share their dark sides in the presence of a seemingly naive Borat.

People think they are informing, and educating the simple minded Borat. When in reality he's uncovering all of American society's dirty laundry.

It's subversive, profound, thought provoking, and just plain funny stuff.

But that's not where all the laughs are, one surprise about the film is how much scripted material is in the film.

I think about 70% of the film is scripted.

The stuff in fictional Kazakhstan is some of the funniest parts in the film. There's also plenty of humorous bits involving Borat and his producer Azmat brilliantly played by Ken Davitian.
They come off as a sort of twisted, racist, crude Laurel and Hardy.

Since Cohen is more of a comedian than an actor one would think this would be one of the weaker elements of the film. But under Larry Charles, who has some experience dealing with this type of free form lightly structured improv material from working on Curb your Enthusiasm, it becomes one of the strongest elements of the film.

Indeed one of the funniest, and raunchiest bits come from the staged material. I won't ruin it here with a description. But trust me, people will know what scene I'm referring to when they watch the film.

It's shocking, crude, perverse stuff. It's also material that'll be talked about for years.

Make sure to check it out before the buzz becomes unavoidable.

Ironically, some genius at Fox, using some stupid fuzzy mathematics, and survey response forms, decided to scale back the number of theatres showing the film. Imagine how they feel now that despite the limited screenings the film still opened at Number one. Imagine how many people were turned away this weekend. I almost missed out when I was initially turned away at one theatre. Luckily I was persistent and found it playing somewhere else.

It shouldn't have been that hard though. I'm know some people who weren't as persistent.

THAT guy is going to get fired.

Anyways by next week the rest of the world will get to see it. Borat will probably be a household name.

Which brings about a depressing note. With so much exposure it'll be impossible for Cohen to play the character again.

At least he's going out with a bang.

A glorious, fun filled, hilarious bang.



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