Borat Review (Preview Screening)


Traverse City Film Festival had a preview screening of the new Borat movie based on the popular character from the HBO series Da Ali G Show (and UK television before that). Film director and festival sponsor Michael Moore introduced the movie with director Larry Charles (of Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm fame).

If you have not seen the character let me get you up to speed... a British fellow dresses up in a tight stinky suit, grows a bold mustache (Stalin would be proud), puts on an indistinguishable accent and interviews people as a journalist frrom Kazakhstan.

One important note:  the people being interviewed are not aware that the interviewer is yanking their chain. Larry Charles setup the movie perfectly by explaining the legal quandaries they faced while putting the movie together (cops and lawyers were heavily involved throughout).

Borat is really just a series of bizarre interviews and situations strung together with a simple plot about his quest for Pamela Anderson.  I have never heard an audience laugh so long and so hard as I did for the opening half hour of Borat.  We see Borat's village in Kazakhstan and meet his wife, his prostitute sister and his neighbor.  During the "festival" scene it gets hard to hear anything over the audience's laughter. 

Once Borat makes it to America he is joined by his fellow Kazak producer partner.  They bounce around America interviewing/offending many different people:  a feminist group, a few politicians, a humor teacher and seemingly half of the South. Some of Borat's USA trip highlights...
  • He sings the Kazak national anthem using the USA's national anthem's music at a rodeo.
  • He crashes a Mortgage Broker's convention in a very unique way (trying not to spoil too much, but I think this scene is why Larry Charles mentioned that it had to be altered in order to avoid an NC-17 rating).
  • He gets drunk with Southern fratboys in an RV.
  • He freaks out at a Bed and Breakfest.
  • He takes part in a church revival (scary as hell).
  • He assaults a famous television star (guess who).
And it all wraps up with a touching ending back in Kazakhstan. As the credits rolled the audience gave the film a standing ovation and sang along with the hysterical Kazakhstan national anthem.  If you are a fan of Da Ali G Show you will not be disappointed. If you are not a fan I wouldn't waste my time with this flick as it is just an extended Borat adventure (obviously).

Borat was certainly a huge success at the Traverse City Film festival and hopefully the trend of getting pre-release movies of this caliber will continue next summer.  The screening certainly attracted some famous faces (Malcom McDowell, Jeff Garlin and Matthew Modine were all seen outside).

Posted by sedgemonkey @ 8/4/2006 22:45  |    3


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Blick (Level 6 Commander) @ 8/7/2006 19:35
I saw the previews for it when I saw Talladega Nights. It's going to be so funny. "If my movie not success then I uh... am execute."

MarioH2O (Level 4 Button Man) @ 8/5/2006 11:12
Oh man, I can't wait.  ITS NAICEE. WA WA WEE WA

sedgemonkey (Level 11 Master Assassin) @ 8/4/2006 23:36
I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that Wolverine would not like this movie.

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